So it’s August already. Sigh. Summer is slipping away so swiftly.
I’ve re-watched the Twilight Saga, binged on new Netflix shows, read my way deep into J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood world, and fallen into the go-to-bed-at-1:00 AM-and-get-up-at-9:00 AM schedule that appears to be what my body will do naturally if given the chance. This is all characteristic of my typical summer leisure experience, but one thing I’m trying to change up is the social interaction.
An introvert since birth, I tend to prefer staying at home instead of going out into the world. When my parents would say, “Go to your room,” I’d skip down the hallway, happy to hide away in my safe haven. I loved being in my room and never saw it as a punishment. If my parents had told me to go talk to people instead, I would have felt far more inconvenienced.
Let’s face it – it’s scary “out there.” Social events also require getting ready. Doing one’s hair. Putting on makeup. Wearing clothes. Ugh. So much work. Chilling in the backyard requires none of these things.
Well, except wearing clothes. Probably.
I’m trying this summer, however, to push myself to interact with more people. I recently saw something online that said social interaction was the number one thing that led people to live longer. Even more than diet and exercise! Needless to say, when I saw that, I panicked. According to that study, I’m going to kick the bucket like… tomorrow!
I also listened to a show on the radio where it was stated that talking to people for as little as ten minutes a day boosted memory. The DNA in my family suggests that boosting one’s memory is definitely something I want to be doing. I felt compelled to call someone up and chat on the spot. (Of course calling people on the phone is an entirely different phobia I’m not ready to deal with at the moment.)
So, yeah… social interaction. I’m trying. It’s kind of exhausting though. The orchestrating schedules. The planning what to do/where to go. The gathering of stimulating conversation topics.
The relinquishing of time with my fictional characters to see real people…
I have to remember, however, that each social interaction has its benefits. Living longer. Boosted memory. And my favorite, story ideas. The more people I spend time with, the more tidbits I pick up and add to my writing notebook. Setting, plot, and character ideas have come to me as I surround myself with different people. I’m amassing quite a collection of words, one-liners, and character traits just by hanging out with my fellow humans.
Hopefully, by the time the summer is over, I’ll have filled my notebook and have reaped the benefits of getting social. If not, I’ll just go back to having full conversations with my dog at home. That has to have benefits too, right?
What tips do you have for me about social interaction?