Nerves . . .

I had tea with a friend a few weeks ago and we were discussing "confidence". Specifically the "confidence" that is expected/required/summonsed/etc. when meeting new people.

It seems that many people are very, very nervous to meet people. I don't mean the Queen of England or your idols and heroes or even someone who might give you a job and change your career and life course . . . I mean PEOPLE. As in "you and I are both here at this house party with 10 other people and I know everyone but you so let me introduce myself" people. Is that a real type of people? Apparently it is. Are people really afraid to meet "those" people? Apparently yes.

I should clarify that I don't think "afraid" is the right word . . . I think nervous or intimidated or hesitant or unsure or too-small-balled might be a better way to go BUT seeing as I have never suffered from this weird subsection of the human condition I called it fear (when speaking with my friend over steaming cups of tea).

They seemed offended.

"I'm not scared" he insisted. "I'm cautious. I'm not going to just walk up to a stranger - stick my hand out and say 'Hi. I'm (first name). Pleasure to meet you' and look like a crazy person."

"A crazy person?" I asked . . .

"YES!" he barked.

If this guy sees those of us unafraid to say a simple introductory "hello" to someone as crazy . . . I'm sticking with calling him afraid.

I don't know where the lines are drawn between being respectful of strangers and boundaries and behaving like I behave (I have no filter, no fear, no hesitation, and no restraint when it comes to just being "myself" with people) and being afraid of strangers and thinking that saying "hello" to someone that is a mutual friend of someone who invited both of you in to their homes but I know that I'm very thankful that my parents, from a very young age, taught me that I couldn't climb in the back of a windowless van with a stranger but I could CERTAINLY talk to them.