Try To Be Nice And Smile
Cultivating Thought

Try To Be Nice And Smile

Today I am participating in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop by answering the prompt:  4.) A time you hurt a friend’s feelings.

I’m going to take different spin on this and talk about a time when I hurt another blogger’s feelings.  So often we meet people through social media and develop relationships online. We form opinions of that person that may or may not be who they really are. This is about such an encounter.

It was her first blog conference and she didn’t know anyone; she was excited to learn that I would be there.  I was excited to meet her too because we had some great exchanges online.  We met at the conference, exchanged hellos and pleasantries and then went about our separate ways.  We attended sessions as our interests dictated, waving hello if we crossed paths again. We stayed in touch throughout the year on Facebook and Twitter.

A year later we were at the same blog conference and I suggested that we hang out.  That is when she told me that I hurt her feelings when we first met a year ago.  She said that I was not how she thought I would be. She thought I didn’t liked her and was in fact surprised when I suggested that we get together this year.  I was truly shocked; how could she think that?  I really liked and respected her and thought our initial connection was positive.

She said that I was “aloof” when we first met.  She thought that I would be bubbly and talkative and I didn’t meet her expectations.   Her feelings were hurt because she assumed that I was that way with other people.  My husband, who was there during this conversation, assured her that I was excited to meet her because I told him so.  He also told her that my aloofness had nothing to do with her because I was like that with everybody.

Now wait a minute!   I was not happy to be called aloof by her or my husband.  I am not aloof; I am friendly and warm and welcoming….Oh wait.  Maybe not so much.  Not with strangers anyway.  I do not gush or speak small talk.   I like to think that I fall somewhere between a “what’s up” head nod and a big bear hug.   Is that aloof?

My husband is the opposite; he is your best friend as soon as he meets you.  He’s a hugger and a small-talker.   He feels like he has to prep me when we are going to an event with strangers, “Now Honey, try to be nice and smile.”  I do smile and I am nice, I’m not just your instant best friend.

I’m not shy and I’m not reserved.  I’m more of a it’s-nice-to-meet-you-but-I’m-going-to-see-how-this-plays-out-before-I-invest-too-much-time-and-energy-into-this-relationship kind of person. But with people I know?  I am warm and loving and really you could not find a better friend.  When I give a hug, it’s for real.   It just takes me a minute to get there.

So maybe I can be a tad aloof with people I don’t know.  I apologized to my blogger-friend because despite my personality quirks, I would never want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  The funny thing is, she admitted that she has the same personality as me and because of that, she was looking at me to initiate the friendly hellos.  So it was not that I projected myself to be different, she wanted me to be.

The next time I’m at a conference I’ll “try to be nice and smile.”  That aloof woman sitting next to me just might need it.

signature

© 2011 – 2016, Sherrelle. All rights reserved.

Storyteller. Travel junkie. Extroverted introvert. Very, very clever. Find me blogging at http://iamsherrelle.com .

15 Comments

  • Ha! My foot STAYS in my mouth.

    Reply
  • I love this post. Meeting people for the first time is awful. Expecially when you’ve made an online connection with them. I’ve been told that online I’m funny, crazy, hilarious and all other types of “outgoing personality” adjectives. But really, I’m extremely shy and self conscious. I don’t do small talk very well and I’m not good with carrying conversations. I get lost for words and worry about sounding dumb.So most times, I just sit and listen. So, my online self and my real life self are two different personalities. I hope I haven’t hurt anyone’s feelings but in retrospect, I probablly have.

    Reply
    • Krystal, you are too sweet to hurt anyone’s feelings!

      Reply
  • You and I could be twins, as could our husbands!! Chris actually gives me “handy small talk questions” on the way to events!! He is SO good at it and I am SO not. I like deep relationships and stink at small talk. And, like you, I think I come across totally different on my blog than in real life. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have disappointed someone in the same way!

    Reply
    • Me too Rachel, I like deep relationships. But small talk does come in handy sometimes. I try to practice at the grocery store with the cashier.

      Reply
  • […] Diva Girl wrote Try to Be Nice and Smile, which I completely related to about how I come across to some […]

    Reply
  • Thats because they didn’t know you in college…LOL I am very much like James and Candis probably could be your sister. She is the same way. There is a reserved nature about her and at times it can be perceived as aloof. There are family members of hers that just figured out she is their cousin and not me. All because I am excited to see almost everyone and she sits back and smiles but doesn’t run up to people. I’ll share this post with her, it might help. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Mario, I don’t think I was as “aloof” in college, was I? I think as I got older and wiser this trait appeared. The way you described yourself with Candis’ family, that is James with my family. Tell Candis she is fine just the way she is….but try to be nice and smile more 🙂

      Reply
  • Great post! Btw, I never perceived you as aloof…. Pensive. Thoughtful. Sincere. Definitely, not aloof! *smile*

    Reply
  • Amber is right: It can be hard to live up to people”s expectations. But the fact that this blogger wanted to be your friend is really sweet. The fact that she was disappointed and mis-read the initial meeting is something I know from first hand experience that she was able to work out after she flipped the mirror and took a good look at how similar the two of you are…another thing you both have in common. It IS true what they say…that first impressions are lasting impressions. Thank goodness you both had a chance to chat about it and how lovely of you to address it. I’ve always known that you were nice. 😉

    Reply
    • Yes Tracey, thank goodness this blogger and I had a chance to address the bad impression because I wanted to be her friend too! I am just a slow friend-maker. I think it was very brave of her to tell me how she felt.

      Reply
  • I can be like that sometimes. I used to hear all the time “why do you look so mean?” when I thought I had a “normal” face on. I’ve been working on it, trying not to be so standoffish and initiate conversation. It happens to the best of us.

    Reply
    • I work on it too Briana. Sometimes I am shopping and I purposely make conversation with another stranger shopping or chat up the salesperson.

      Reply
  • It’s so hard to live up to people’s expectations…I mean, even if you’re the friendliest person in the world, there are bound to be moments you’re not smiling! But you’re right. A smile is the best way to go.

    Reply
    • I do have a nice smile, I’ve been told :-), so I try to use it even when I don’t want to talk.

      Reply

Write a comment

HELLO!

Welcome to Sherrelle! Subscribe here for updates, news and more. You'll be glad you did.

First Name
Email address