I got together with some old high school friends during 2010 and I made a few observations on social behavior. There are a few categories of the way people behave when they haven’t seen you for a long time.
1. Shy-Types. An old friend can be really shy and can take a while to warm up. I guess people grow apart and it’s not incredibly unusual. But I was still caught off guard when I encountered this. In my mind nothing between my old friend and I had changed. But obviously my old friend had a different interpretation. The conversation was awkward and forced. Perhaps given more than ten minutes the friendship could return to the familiarity that once was. But alas, we only managed to chat for six or seven minutes and moved on.
2. Same Old Same Old. Some people just do not change. I suppose it can be good or bad. After all some people are great and some need to change! But generally I prefer it this way. If I liked someone several years earlier, chances are I’m going to still like that type of person. If I start a conversation with someone who hasn’t changed, we can pick up right where we left off. It’s like time had no affect on their personality or our relationship.
3. Nervous Nellies. There are a lot of nervous types. I tend think these people just never learned the art of conversation. You know the types I’m referring to…people that can’t maintain a conversation. If they are asked a question, they give brief answers and have no follow up chit chat or reciprocal question. It wears me out talking to these types of people. Blech.
4. The Blossomers! These people are the ones who I never had anything in common with, or they were people who were never able to hold a conversation, who now can! Sweet! What a pleasant surprise. They’ve emerged into articulate outgoing individuals, who can maintain a two way conversation, and it’s actually interesting. I ran into a few of these people, and it made my day. Thanks Blossomers!!