When we go shopping, it is inevitable. Jess is going to try to strike up a conversation with someone. She just likes to ask people questions. Over the years, we have worked towards keeping the chatter to the person working the register when we check out.
I had a follower who had been grocery shopping and a woman with disabilities (who was with a friend) started asking her questions. After 2 or 3 minutes, the questions were answered and everyone moved on. But, my follower wondered if she had annoyed the friend because it delayed their progress.
Another follower has asked what is the proper protocol when someone like Jess starts asking questions. Do I prefer that people stop and respond? Do I prefer they not?
I have a lot to say about this topic. In this video, I address how we handle three specific scenarios: when we are still shopping and Jess starts talking to someone standing close to us, when we are in the checkout line, and when Jess asks a question to a person in motion.
My answers are based on this simple premise. Jess matters. She is an individual, an adult, she has her own personality, and she’s social. It’s important for her to connect with people. Whether or not I am social, or even in a hurry, she matters. Her opportunities to socialize are limited. So, if Jess strikes up a conversation with someone and they talk back, I try to go with it for a reasonable amount of time.
Ditto, ditto, ditto. Sam will also engage, mostly when we are in the check-out line, and like you, I allow him to, but often intervene using direct eye contact with them if the person seems perplexed about his familiarity with them (he’ll address them based upon their name tag), or his comments. Most people “get it” and those that don’t, well. 🙂
When we were younger, I was more uncomfortable with it all, and felt awkward while it was all happening. I tried to control and direct the interaction more.
Now, I just kind of step back, mostly just let it all unfold, and often have a good inward laugh at the direction things go in and what is said by both parties. ?