I live in a Co-Housing Community in Colorado Springs. For those of you who are not sure what a Co-Housing Community, allow me to take a minute to explain. It is a series of individual houses that share a common house, community garden, and share duties that often fall to a home owners association . Yes, it has some similarities to a commune. My particular community is home to several retired people, quite a few Colorado College professors and their families, some young families, and my roommates and me.
I have had very little time to participate in any of the community activities because of my hectic schedule at work, but due to a snow day, I was able to go to the community dinner tonight.
Attending events in which I know few people and they are based around small talk totally stress me out and are out of my comfort zone. For those who know me well, this may come as a surprise. But alas, I am an introvert (an outgoing introvert, but still an introvert). While I often force myself to go to events in which I can meet new people, I find those situations draining and challenging. I would much prefer to stand in a corner with a person I know well and let them do the talking until I feel comfortable or as though I have something to contribute.
Tonight, I told myself to accept the very nice invitation from a member of the community and go to the dinner. I didn’t completely break out of my comfort zone (I was sitting with my roommate who is absolutely wonderful at talking to new people), but I met new people in the community. I learned about the fascinating things the that people I live near do for a living, the interesting events coming up, and even some Jewish events that happen at Colorado College. I also managed to find a 13-year-old who was willing to unclog our shower drain if we paid him a little. I’d call this an incredibly worthwhile success. While I still felt awkward making small talk (Okay, is there anyone who doesn’t feel awkward making small talk), I met new people and had very pleasant conversations!