Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's Usually Nice to be Nice

Recently one of the bloggers I follow wrote about meeting some new people in Ottawa while there on business and how well they got along.

She said that she meets nice people everywhere she goes and said part of that is because she talks to everyone.

That sounds like me. Although no one ever believes me, I was very shy until my late 20’s. It’s amazing what reservoirs within yourself a divorce forces you to tap into. Today I'll start a conversation with just about anyone anywhere.

In my business (real estate) I meet new people all the time. I used to do a lot of relocation work. Not so much lately since people seem to be leaving Rhode Island rather than arriving. Often the realtor is the first person someone new to the area meets. I’ve had relo clients in my car for 4-5 hours at a time. I’ve always said I can make the smallest talk you’ve ever heard.

And because I’m often the first person they meet, I’m also the first impression of what folks here are like. We New Englanders seem to have a reputation for being cold, stand-offish and not welcoming to newcomers. I’ve never quite understood that because I just think we are the warmest and fuzziest people on earth. But I’ve heard it often enough to know that's the word on the street.

At some point in the day I usually mention that I was born and raised here. Often I hear “Gee, you don’t sound like you’re from Rhode Island.” My answer to that is “Thank you, thank you.” I have worked for years on neutralizing my RI accent for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it can sound downright dumb.

My favorite comment heard from a relo client was a woman who said “You’re not at all what I expected. You’re really nice.” She said it like she had just tasted Japanese puffer fish and found she liked it. I really didn’t know what to say after thank you. I just smiled.

What I wanted to say was “glad I could dispel that myth for you, lady. Now get out of my car and go home.” But I would have said it with a smile.


Laoch of Chicago said...

I think, sadly, that I meet a lot of nice people but also more awful people on balance. I am quite good at small talk although I find it exhausting.

K A B L O O E Y said...

People talk without thinking. Guilty. But it's worth remembering the immortal words of Frank Burns: "It's nice to be nice to the nice."

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"She said it like she had just tasted Japanese puffer fish and found she liked it."


I can appreciate the being shy. I was and now I find I often can talk to everyone, except who I should be talking to. Hmmmm.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I agree, divorce made me a different person and I like who I became. I will talk to anyone. I never heard that about people from New England. That just can't be true!


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