What I want to do in this post is share a little anecdote of something that recently happened to me, and the lesson that came out of it. Perhaps it's something you experienced/learned a long time ago, but I'm a late bloomer, so go figure, I just figured it out haha.
|What exactly was I doing in college?|
Anyway, Remember how I talked about "finding your habibi" a few months ago? And even going online to do so? What if the opportunity was there, but you actually accidentally passed it up? Multiple times even? And no I don’t mean your best friend or something like that, or not going out one Friday night when you were tired. What I mean is an opportunity missed because you didn't realize the opportunity was there to begin with.
Let me explain through example:
A few weeks ago, I was sitting with some good friends at a bar in the city where I did my undergrad (Louisville, KY). I was about three beers deep when something happened. As I was talking to my friends, a girl from another table randomly came over, and asked us if she could take an extra chair from our table. Of course we said yes, but then she looked right at me and asked, "Do I know you from somewhere? You look really familiar." Bear in mind a few things:
1. I wasn't exactly in my "going out" clothes. I had just driven there that day.
2. I was already a bit slow because of the beer (I'm kind of a light-weight, ok?)
So, I'm thinking to myself, "Well, maybe she does know me..." So, I say, "Umm, I don't know. Did we have class together? What's your name?" And she tells me, but I'm still drawing a blank. At that point, my friend whispers to me, "Michael, what are you doing? Go talk to her!" And I'm just so confused, I'm still trying to figure out where she'd know me from! At that point she thanks us for the chair, and goes back to her table.
Now... my friend is kind of disappointed in me: "Dude, what was that!? You should have talked to her!" And this is where the lesson begins:
Me: (I'm still confused, and was flashing a puzzled look) "Why? She just wanted to know if she knew me. And she obviously didn't, what's the big deal?"
Him: "Well, she was obviously interested in you."
Me: "What are you talking about? She was just asking if she knew me" (which to me, in my naivety, was a reasonable conclusion).
Him: "But that's the point. It doesn't really matter if she was interested or not. The fact is, the opportunity presented itself just now, and you completely blew it.
Me: "What!? How!?"
Him: "Simple. When she came over and asked for the chair and if she knew you, what you should have done is gotten up, gone over to her, said something like, "no I don't think we've met, but my name's Michael," and then offered to take the chair back to her table."
At this point I was just amazed.
|"Obviously you've never read The Game..."|
Him: "Ok fine, but you still missed an opportunity."
And that's when it dawned on me. Up until this point, I had never understood the difference between intention and opportunity when it comes to meeting someone. Intention, in this sense, being that she wanted to talk to me. Maybe she did. Maybe she didn't. To me, I always thought that the intention had to be there in order to talk to a girl (quite contrary to practically every movie, ever made, ever). But what I realized is that the opportunity to meet/get-to-know someone is really always there.
Now, you may be thinking, "Come on Ogie, that's like the oldest trick in the book." But analyzing that isn't the point of this post. It's that you may be missing good opportunities all the time because you're not reading the language of the interaction, or as I demonstrated, even realizing that the opportunity is there. As I said, it didn't matter if she came over just to talk to me or not. What mattered is that I should have stood up, introduced myself, talked to her, and offered to help; made something out of that interaction, and maybe meet someone new.
Does this happen to you? Has anything similar ever happened? In Lebanon? Outside Lebanon? Is it cultural? Just to clarify, my friend's girlfriend was sitting next to him, and not only affirmed what he was saying, but also said I should have talked to her, in part, because the "road for interaction" was clear so to speak.
Let me know. I'm really looking forward to your comments on this one!