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Today marks the first rehearsal of the opera Mlle Modiste in which I am performing. I’d previously sung in an opera Dido and Aeneas as a member of the choir and as part of a duet during the intermezzi (a break between the acts of an opera). However, that was a Santa Clara University production (a college near where I live), which is not in session during the summer. As such, I joined a local community production in San Jose to be performed in the Lyric Theatre in October.

While it may seem surprising for an INTJ to be so interested in theatre, I do have some goals for my participation. First, I’ve always liked singing and have been doing it since elementary school (but I took a break in college). As such, it is quite entertaining for me, although my reasons may not be the same as the other people participating. For me, the main attraction is the depth of emotions conveyed through a well performed play. It seems to echo the deep convictions I have which I don’t see too often in the “outside world”.

Second, I want to improve my singing. I’ve always sang as a bass and only recently have I started developing the upper part of my range. In this performance, I’ll be singing as a baritone/tenor II, which should improve my range and power with practice. Lastly, I like to observe people in social situations. To be a billionaire, which is one of my goals, I will need the help of people, so it’s always a good time to try to understand them.

With my plans laid out, I arrived at the theatre right on time. I haven’t gone over the music much, but it didn’t look like a lot of lines to memorize, so I figured I’ll probably be fine. As I entered through the door focusing intently on my music, I heard “Heeeyyy! WARREN WONG!” I looked up to see a friend of mine from our previous play last year. She had a big smile on her face with her arms wide open for a hug, and seemed genuinely glad to see me. Of course I hugged her and felt good to have a friend around.

This reminded me of the importance of being enthusiastic. Would I feel comfortable talking with her again? Of course. Now, compare this with another situation I’ve experienced. I had met a girl at a dance a year or two ago and we kept in touch through email. We connected on a variety of levels and I wanted to IM/phone/hang out together with our other friends – any kind of “real time” conversation, so the friendship can develop (this is not a romantic thing, it’s rare for me to feel a connection with someone, male or female). She refused, citing all sorts of random excuses. That gave me the distinct feeling that she didn’t want others to know I was her friend, which forced me to end the friendship.

By loudly, confidently, and enthuiastically greeting someone, you are demonstrating that you are proud to know them. You are telling the other person you’d like everyone to know how happy you are to see them.

This combines three of the most important principles from How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Smile, learn their name, and be enthusiastic!

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One Response to “The Girl With The Open Arms”

  1. Make People Comfortable By Greeting Them Right on August 13th, 2007 11:54 pm

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