Random Acts of Interaction Challenge! I did it!

Random Acts of Interaction is a challenge that forces one out of their comfort zone to interact with a person one normally would avoid. Below is a readout of my interaction. Now, I challenge you.

I attended Girls Night Out, a monthly get together of about 20 women of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. My dear friend Sylvia organizes the monthly gatherings and although I am not always able to attend, I love the idea of women getting together to do fun things. No husbands, no children, no work, just pure female fun!

When I arrived at the restaurant all the middle seats (where you can dally in the most conversations) were taken so I took a seat at the end and sat across from a lady who had a very heavy accent. Let me be honest…I do not like to speak with people with heavy accents. For me, it is hard work and exhausting. I have to slow my thinking, stall my assumptions, keep my focus on the speaker, and avoid distractions all while trying to decipher words. As I said, exhausting! It doesn’t take long for me to reach listener fatigue. So I started looking around to see where else I could sit but there were no other seats.

I had previously spoken with Pam and Cindy with Visible Unity about Random Acts of Interaction, a program that forces one to get out of their comfort zone and engage people we normally would avoid. For me – people with heavy accents.

So since I was stuck, I decided to challenge myself to converse with Esther, the lady with the heavy accent. Guess what? It turned out to be a robust, personal, and fun conversation. I learned she was fasting which was something I had been thinking and learning about. She freely shared her fasting experiences and offered some tips. In addition, I learned we both attend small group home bible studies and she actually hosts her group in her home. Finally, we talked about our professions and I jealously learned she had retired after serving for so many years as an educator and principal. It was an amazing time of fellowship and I was so glad she wanted to take a selfie with me at the end of dinner.

As I was driving home that evening, I thought about how I would have missed out on the opportunity to get to know Esther if I had ignored her and stayed in my comfort zone or found another seat. Had I not been willing to intentionally interact, I would have missed a most delightful time of sharing.

Thank you Visible Unity for challenging us to interact with people we normally avoid. My life is richer for the exchange. #randomactsofinteraction#comfortzonesucks.

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