Sunday, February 21, 2016

Hospitality for the Rest of Us: At the DMV



There are places in life where we have developed habits of isolation. A prime example of that is at the DMV. We don't really want to be there, lots of people with nothing to do but wait. Some of those people are talkers. Occasionally, they will find another talker and the two of them will have a loud small talk conversation that all the introverts in the building will roll their eyes over.

So what's an introvert to do at the DMV? Two routes, book and headphones or smile and say hello to people. I would actually recommend the second. People may very well tell you something interesting. And by initiating, you will potentially scare off the non-talkers and be able to guide the talkers into a less painful conversation. 

How do we lead into less painful conversations with strangers? I have not perfected that, but I've found asking questions about rabbit trails of their main point works pretty well. For instance, when someone complains about how things used to take less time, you can ask where they grew up or how long they've been driving or what their first car was. Just keep your ears open and listen for where their story and your interest meets and then try to pursue that topic. Win win for both of you.

Just a short post today. But important all the same. Listening can lead us to some new adventures.

2 comments:

  1. I'm the crazy lady who strikes up a conversation with everyone. People sometimes avoid me.

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    1. This does not surprise me :-) I was summoned to federal jury duty and there were two ladies who had the loudest conversation in the quietest room. It was like they were instant friends. Weirdest thing I've ever witnessed.

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