What do I mean with meeting? Which forms of meeting do I encounter? What do I like about it?

I love meeting people. I’ve started to realise this more and more and I think travelling has played a major part in this. When you travel you meet a lot of people. Is it because I’m more open to it then? Or because I’m travelling alone? A smile, a chat, a greeting or just eye contact. It stroke me that meeting is more than just speaking each other’s language. That’s what hit me.

Examples of encounters on the street in Nepal.

Abroad everybody greets each other on the street, whether you know each other or not. I like that. In my eyes (how appropriate 😉 I think it has to do with being willing to see each other. Back in Holland after a journey the contrast is striking. It’s more individually orientated here. Fortunately there are places where one greets another, but it often happens that one turns its head away or just stares straight forward. Often out of an insecure feeling and sometimes it happens unconsciously, I’m convinced. With greeting I not just mean ‘goodmorning’, but a nod, a smile or just eye contact is also allright. We just may not be used to it in Holland. Or somebody has just had a bad day. It’s okay.

Personal ini-mini projects
And so one day I started some personal ini-mini projects. I live in the centre of a small town. I sometimes go out walking for some groceries in town and I intend to greet everybody on my way. Sincerely. Because I’m convinced that your smile has to be sincere to reach the other. How this looks like? I’m walking through town, look someone in the face and give a sincere smile or say a happy ‘hello’. The reactions that I get differ a lot. From amazement, to turning away, to defrosting, to a great smile or the start of a conversation. Very nice!

A simple hello could lead to a million things.

But also when I enter a shop. A happy entrance or a smile, remark or question at the counter or to another customer is such a small thing, but you can feel the atmosphere change. Also nice to do in the supermarket. Just stand in the row with a happy face. Everybody is looking around a bit, it’s nice to observe and to stand there happily as if a few minutes more or less doesn’t matter at all. I usually get a nice glance or smile back. These small things make me happy!

It’s art to make a coincidental encounter into something nice.

No, I don’t always do this. I also have days that I’m fed up and don’t look around happily. I’m sometimes sitting in the train deliberately with ear plugs in and watching on my phone. Disconnecting myself from everything and everybody. Or just covered in thoughts. Like recently, I had a happy day and crossed the street, thinking about something. A man on a bike apparently did not appreciate this and said at 30 cm distance softly, but clearly: ‘Sourpuss!’ I was stunned and raised my eyebrows! ‘What?’ I usually don’t get remarks like this one. And I thought ‘No sir, I was just pondering about something.’ A feeling of wanting to defend myself. And immediately after I chuckled, because of course he didn’t know. I think this happens often. People create thoughts and aren’t busy with other people. People judge according to what they see.

First impression
That’s why the first impression is essential. I recently listened to a podcast where this tip was given: Teach yourself to have a smile on your face every time you walk through a door. The chance that somebody on the other side of the door sees you for the first time is quite big. So this way you increase the chance of making a positive first impression. I can get so inspired by small tips like that. It’s not part of my system yet, but some practice is good.

Other forms
Beside the real fysical forms I can also enjoy very much to meet somebody at a distance. A small card with a sweet text or an unexpected email or happy app. All forms of contact. Also, dancing is a wonderful way of contact. I´ll work this out in a future blog. And what makes me very happy too is a special form of distant contact. On the highway. When you’re driving with people you know in two cars and one is turning left or right and the other one doesn’t. One signals with the head lights and the others switches on the alarm lights. It may be stupid, but that always makes me very happy. As if the car blinks with its eyes. (Yes, I am really 32 😉

Special cards get a special place in my house and I store them carefully. Here are some from my collection.

Getting inspired by coincidental meetings. Or aren’t they coincidental? I can filosophize for hours on this. I believe in the following statement:

We don’t meet people by coincidence. They cross our path for a reason.

Enough for now. Typing this blog I’m reminded by a few of my surprising chats during beautiful-person-encounters. As in the plane about sprouts, in the train about me and my leather trousers after the question ‘Are you as cool as your trousers?’, on a small staircase in Nepal about norms and values, in Sri Lanka about the freedom of women, on an internship visit about getting inspired, after giving dance lessons about life and during my stay in a Bed & Breakfast in Drenthe about sphere and creativity.

Next week more about my short stay in Drenthe a couple of weeks ago…

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