“Hey, it is so nice to meet you! My name is [blah blah blah]”
We have all been in this situation where you meet somebody for the first time and they act as if the universe has finally answered their meditative prayers to make them meet you. Honestly, how pleased can someone be to meet a stranger they hardly know anything about. In my opinion, this line has the same effect as saying, “thank you” when someone opens the door for you while you are still 5000 feet away and you have to do a quick, awkward jog because all of a sudden you feel responsible for the other person’s time and you don’t want them to be late as a result of holding the door for you. Do not forget that muscle pull that they might get from holding the door too long! “Why, yes, thank you ma’am for making me run and hurry to an event I am already 30 minutes too early for! Do not mind my heavy backpack it was a breeze doing the awkward walk-and-run-and-jog just to catch up with you.Thank you!” We usually say these words (internally or externally) just because. Are we really thankful? Is it really nice to meet you? Do we really care this much?
I have been in one too many situations where after someone says their long niceties about the pleasures and happiness that meeting me brings to them, I just stare at them. Silently. Wondering. Just trying to figure out what is so nice about meeting me especially if we will never meet again. I would rather save the words and use them when I actually mean them than just pretend and go along with the societal norm. Do not get me wrong now. I am not rude or unappreciative of the opportunities to meet people but let us be honest for a minute and think about this. There was a time that I decided to give it a try. You know, pretend I am super elated to meet a random person, and it went like this:
“Hello, my name is XYZ and it is so nice to meet you! What is your name?”
“BluePajamas. Nice to meet you too.”
Brief. Awkward. Big plastic smile on my face and less than 2 seconds later, the person was gone to do the same ritual with the next person in line. I asked myself, “How do people do this? It just seems so fake.” Well, BluePajamas, how do you do it?
I like to take my time. When I am in a new place, I like to communicate with my eyes first. Let the environment speak to me through my eyes as I browse around and see how things are done and how people behave. After a while, when I have settled down and look back at how much so-and-so was helpful, that is when I start to think, “Truly, it is nice to have met so-and-so.” I actually mean these words. Real, genuine gratitude.