Introverts and Greetings

03 September 2010

Now this is probably just me and my Muppet Baby imagination, but I don’t like greeting people; people that I know. The greetings of “good morning,” “hello,” “how are you?” et. al.. are too much like reflexive controlled responses and conditioning. As an introvert greetings are also too much like and open the door for idle chit-chat, which introverts don’t like. Just because we have been separated by many hours since the previous day doesn’t mean that now we’re in proximity of each other that we should automatically begin small talk.

I prefer to live life with the folks I know as one constant conversation separated daily by long, long pauses called night time. When I see you again the next day, I would much rather pick up conversation with where we left off at the previous day or start a new one bypassing the “hello” part. I am all about getting to the point of whatever it is I have to say. I don’t want to delay it with idle words which have little meaning or relevance to the point.

As a society, we’re conditioned to greet one another as an automatic thing every time; how boring and meaningless. If you do the same thing everyday over and over again, eventually, it loses its meaning and value, it’s a conditioned response. In the morning, I see you and by that trigger of seeing you, I and we are conditioned to greet each other as an automatic. If I choose not to greet you, then by that lack of trigger on my part you’re conditioned to be taken aback and offended that I didn’t do what was expected of me. I ask, why is that?

My motivation for not wanting to greet the people I see regularly is because doing so every day has no meaning or value and gets in the way of business or the point of any conversation worth having. It has nothing to do with being mean or hateful; my intent is to skip the uselessness and start on the meaningful stuff. Why waste time?

Now as for people I don’t know, I don’t have a problem with the greeting. The fact is this may be the first time we’ve met and a formal greeting will actually have some meaning and value. The same thing goes for people I know but haven’t seen in years. It will be like meeting for the first time again.

I seek purpose in my life, I want to make a difference where I can. Purpose to me is having a clear expectation of what I want to accomplish no matter how big or small the goal is. I see little purpose in the every single day greeting, saying the same thing over and over again.

I ask you these questions.

  1. Are you saying good morning to me because you truly, deep inside mean and hope I actually have a good morning or do you say it because you are conditioned to do so?
  2. Is it a reflex for you to say it, meaning you just say it because it’s the morning and you’ve seen me for the first time today and you really don’t have that heart-felt meaning behind the utterance of the words?
  3. When you do exchange greetings with someone, how do you feel? Do you feel any different?