Everyone talks to Jen. I’m not just talking about friends in social situations, I mean anywhere and everywhere. For example we went to the dep to get the Saturday paper at the weekend, and the guy behind the counter immediately launched into a conversation with Jen about the weather. If we’re in a bar and there’s an obnoxious drunk around, he will talk to Jen. We could be sitting in a restaurant eating a meal and someone at the next table will start talking to Jen. In line-ups, walking down the street, in shopping malls, on aeroplanes, at gas stations, in the cinema, in public bathrooms (so I’ve been told), in the doctor’s waiting room. Wherever we are, some random person will always talk to Jen.
Nobody talks to me.
So what’s that all about then? What makes Jen irresistably approachable and me so avoidable? Is it simply a gender thing? Does being female automatically make you more approachable? I think that might be partially true, but it’s not the whole story. I think Jen has an open and honest face. She smiles a lot and is completely non-threatening. She also probably maintains better eye contact than I do. When a conversation does start up, she has more to say than I do.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be like Jen, I think I would get annoyed very quickly if random people kept talking to me wherever I went. It would be nice though, occasionally, to be sitting somewhere and have someone strike up a conversation with me.
I’m an expert at projecting the “leave me alone, don’t talk to me” aura, which is very useful sometimes, but I’d also like to be able to project the “ok I’m a bit bored and wouldn’t mind a bit of a chat” aura. How does one do that?