Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bold Living: at Parties

At a party last night, I had a talk with the hostess, a woman in her seventies whom I'd never met before, and was impressed by the fact that she seemed entirely "for real" through the whole conversation. I asked myself what gave me that feeling. She seemed:

* relaxed, but not ostentatiously so
* forthcoming yet not eager to entertain or impress
* free of any sign of anxiety
* mildly flirtatious with the men who happened by
* in the moment, rather than orchestrating the coming moment
* and interested in the conversation

She, like almost every one else at the party, was a group psychotherapist, and perhaps in her case that played a part. But I also know that there are plenty of therapists who are shy as rabbits.

I mentioned to my husband my view of this woman. He agreed and said: Isn't she gracious? and she doesn't just blurt out whatever comes to mind.

My own party style has evolved: I used to talk until I was giddy and had a fine time. Over time, without meaning to, I've slowed it down quite a bit; regrettably though, I haven't liked parties as much since, which is sad.

I think last night's hostess has somehow found what the Buddhists call "The Middle Way." Best of all, it seemed to come naturally. I think it can come naturally for anyone. But a lot of us need help getting the conversation started: a search turned up hundreds of thousands of websites on how to start a conversation.

My mother, a pure example of extroverted, calls the process "finding their topic."

On the other hand, I get tired of my topics. I like it when someone steers me into an interest I didn't know I had.

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Debra W said...

Your hostess sounds just lovely. And I love that your mother calls it "finding their topic", the operative word here being "their". I always find that if you can engage somebody at their level, they tend to be more comfortable in the conversation. It sounds like you had a lot to do with how this woman responded to you. It would be so interesting to know what she was feeling after the conversation. Something tells me that it would be much the same as what you felt.

Happy Saturday!

Peggy Payne said...

You're right: the point is the "their." Hard to always remember.

Anonymous said...

i fed rather'n followed--what's the diff ?

it's a pain to have to go thru all the steps below to comment

& ditto debra w aiki

Peggy Payne said...

Sorry about the added step in commenting, Aiki. It was necessary because I was getting many dozens of blogspammed comments selling questionable goods.

The difference between a feed subscriber and following--well, I don't know, except that following gets your username--Aiki?--posted with other regular readers here, and--I'm pretty sure--allows people to link to you from this site. I'll do further research.