the gift of gab and other unlikely habits

I took one of those Jungian personality tests last night (for the umpteenth time) and noticed some drastic changes in my results. Suddenly, I seem a much more structured person than I thought I was, but I have to admit that I’ve noticed similar changes in my habits lately. I have become much more structured in my approach to things such as goals and work. I make Iists! Lots of them. Both to do and have done lists. I even joined Lift to track my habits and produce ever more lists. I seem terribly boring all of a sudden :(.

However, another change I’ve noticed has been an increase in my interactions with strangers. I’m a very private person who prefers introspection to conversation (yes, I’m a typical introvert), but I’ve caught myself greeting random strangers and having random conversations with people I barely know. I blame this new habit on my job. As a Public Services librarian, I perform all sorts of tasks (though I often have to remind myself that I’m an administrator too), but my main objective is to be the public face of the library on our campus. I handle events, activities, social media, reference, and all manner of other tasks that bring me in constant contact with people, in person and virtually… which reminds me, I have to add some new virtual chat options to my to do list for our website…

Being in such constant contact with people has made me realize that I really am too much of a humbug when it comes to being personable with strangers. I’ve been learning to be cordial and open, to actively greet people and ask after their day, and it’s starting to trickle into my every day activities. I am much more likely to say hello to someone in line at the grocery store than I ever was before. I’m also more likely to engage in conversation with someone at a party. I still feel as awkward as ever, but I think I’m starting to fall into this role more naturally.

I got the public speaking down when I was teaching. Now, I have no problem going in front of a crowd and improvising when an event speaker doesn’t show up or a colleague can’t make it for an instruction session. I guess now I’m getting the conversationalist thing down… or trying to… I’ll give it a few years yet.