What have I been up to in August

This summer has been truly very busy for me and while I am quite excited to get more me time in September I have really enjoyed all that has happened in August. It was a warm month with a lot of work, friends, getting back to my daily routine. There has been a lot of laughter while I have been able to take some down time every now and then to relax and gather my thoughts. After being a bit stressed for a couple of days about the starting Autumn I have finally made some plans that will ground me down and keep my routine and make me happy about the future, more about soon!

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Looking back what I have been talking about on my blog in August it seems that I have been travelling my fair share and wrote about it in August. My travels have taken me on a road trip with friends around the beautiful and tranquil Scottish Highlands. I should go back there anytime I need to get out of the city! I have enjoyed a couple of little trips to beautiful old towns of Vianden and Metz where I have been totally amazed by their castles and cathedrals, and I have spent some time roaming around the Luxembourg city with my family. Living away from my family makes me treasure the times when I see them!

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My own research into sustainability has found me new information on the problems of sustainability in the fashion industry which I discuss in Overdressed and True Cost. In addition, I found two online brands which are amazingly innovative with the sustainability. The Post-Couture Collective, which has innovated a new way to create fashion and Buy Me Once, which promotes a new way of shopping for products.

I have been so busy that goals and self-improvement have not really been on my mind. However, I have thought about my social awkwardness a bit, especially in the context of complimenting.

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August has been full of favourites from finding a book on a bus to favourite illustrators, feminist interviews and working in a photo studio. I have truly been fortunate with my happy moments, but then it is all in the attitude. I like my life happy and inspired, so I look around and find it.

 

How has your August been?

With love,

Lii

Thoughts of an introvert – Socially awkward complimenting

Complimenting other people on their appearance, success or any other aspect is part of people’s daily life. Well, it should be. It makes the receiver of the compliment feel special and appreciated (in most cases). I see people who compliment all the time and about the smallest of things from nice trousers and beautiful haircut to a great strength. Most often the compliments bring joy, however, sadly there are occasions when they are placed to butter somebody up or in a sarcastic tone. Then there are those people who never really say any true compliments, other than the agreement with others “yes, it really is beautiful”. The reserved type who almost seem rude.

Let’s think about it like this. What goes in their head? It could be something like this:

Oh wow, I really like her top. I should probably say it, but not now, now is not the right time. When could be a good time? Well, she is speaking to somebody else just now. She probably isn’t even interested in my opinion, why would I bother her with it, no point in saying it out loud. But then, it could also make her feel great or make her day… or she will think I am saying it sarcastically and laughing at her. If I do it genuinely she shouldn’t feel like that, though. But whenever I open my mouth I sound strange and awkward. Oh, but now it’s been too long and it would be out of context if I’d compliment her now, I do not want to seem stupid and awkward.

All of this might be going in somebody’s head while others see a girl standing there staring at the top with a strange expression and wonder whether there is something wrong with it.

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Well, this is me. Being an introvert socialising with people feels very awkward and most of the time I end up analysing situations and my behaviour rather than actually socialising, especially if it is with strangers or less familiar people. In addition, after I have opened my mouth and said something I end up analysing it afterwards and scrutinising myself over how awkward I sounded. This year I finally made a goal to get better at socialising with people (yes, that does sound cringe even to me). I decided to start complimenting people. It shouldn’t be such a complex task and it something positive. It is now August and we are nearing the last 4 months of this year. What is my progress in this task I set out for myself?

As always I do try to smile to most people I meet. Whether it is the bus driver, the cashier or somebody at work, to most of them, I also say hi. This has backfired a little, though. On my way home or away from there I usually walk this one busy street where this younger man was nice enough to say hi to me once or twice. He is a complete stranger and I thought I was getting better at this. Until I realised that he was standing at different points of the street almost every single time I walked there and only said ‘hi’ to me. I felt a bit creeped out and have been keeping an eye that he is not following me home. Maybe, I shouldn’t be saying ‘hi’ to every single person.

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What comes to complimenting, on the other hand, I found it to be more difficult than I thought. I’ve made one compliment to a stranger in the whole 8 months. Even then I was cringing and pondering on it for a while whether I should say it. At a coffee stand, I ordered coffee from this girl with bold and colourful nails. She worked there alone and people passing by were always very busy. I complimented her on the nails on the very last second before I left the stand and after I thanked her for my coffee and she did smile. I don’t know if I made her day just that bit better or not, but I like to think that I did. I was genuine in my compliment. I did analyse the situation for a while afterwards, but it didn’t make me feel any worse and it certainly didn’t make my day any worse. I should definitely work on complimenting more!

The point of this is, I guess, that those of you who feel awkward talking out loud, you are not alone. There are many others who do as well. Who over analyse situations and feel awkward next to their bubbly amazing friends. But then, I do look behind those other people too who might not say so much and I understand them. I do not compliment often, even my friends and family, but when I do, I really really mean it and it makes it more special those times. And to those who think quiet people are rude, they might not be. It could be just that they are over analysing things in their head. I would still take a genuine compliment from a person rarely than feel that it is ingenuine and mocking.

 

How do you feel about complimenting people?

With love,

Lii