Back & Forth
Last night I went out with some friends for some beers. I didn't like beer in the UK, for some reason it doesn't quite touch the same tastebuds as the Czech stuff. Living in Prague has been an ongoing learning experience for me in that the variety of people, personalities and activities allows for an eclectic mix.
One of the things I learned quite quickly about this country is that people will tend to move towards people of the same type. Artists hang with artists, gays hang with gays, actors all know each other, the theatre community is insular and hard to get into unless you take the reigns yourself. This means that, as someone who covers a lot of different ground with my interests, I've been lucky enough to meet a mixture of people from each community.
So, anyway, I go out with some friends of mine. I've been a bit reclusive of late so it was nice to be out. We went to Bar 7 which is in the centre of the city, I'd never been before and there was a vague event including a BBQ (My friend Aimee made some great burgers). Meeting new people for me is easy, I make a great first impression. Wit, charm, enough general knowledge to get by in any subject. I ask questions, I listen, I don't interrupt where possible and I'm open minded enough to listen to things I might not agree with. I give away a lot of my energy in these situations so I find it quite exhausting, but I decided to go a different route to meeting people this time.
Last night I had to drink 4 beers before I started talking to anyone outside of the group. When I did, I realised that I was pretty happy with my friends. Small talk, idle banter is all well and good, but in reality the best conversations can only be mined from people you already have a conection with. Flitting between the eloquence of Trump and the joys of anal sex just isn't possible with strangers.
(It's not possible with strangers until at least 7 beers anyway.)
The point is that pushing ourselves to go out of our way to interact with new people isn't a necessity. I used to think it was, but it's not. I met an incredibly talented artist, an American with an inspiring attitude to life and a Canadian who showed that it takes a lot to hold a person back. I met these people because I made connections with them, because we give away energy and we take back energy.
There's a back and forth, a give and a take in every conversation, sometimes when its uneven we feel it and usually it results in feeling uncomfortable for one, if not both, of the people. The best connections come naturally and not simply because you push yourself to make them, so don't worry about going out of your way to make friends just because you're somewhere new. Go with the flow and allow your energy to be exchanged with people who want to share (it's much easier than you think)