I have recently started a new job, hoorah! It’s all going great, however I failed to prepare for an obvious situation, and now I’m kicking myself. Hopefully this post might help better prepare others for this situation, which can happen in any environment with new people, if not then at least this should remind me for next time.
It was Friday afternoon, I’d made it all the way to the end of the week, I’d even made it to the office beer o-clock and we were all having drinks and chatting. Then came the obvious and simple question I had forgotten to prepare for, ‘so, tell us something about you that we wouldn’t guess.’ Of course the question isn’t always worded exactly like this, but some sort of prompt for me to open up in a social situation was clearly going to happen. Having not prepared for this question, I froze. I stammered a little bit and then answered, ‘oh, I don’t know, hmmm…’ then racked my head for things to say that would be interesting enough to satisfy the question, but not so interesting as to taint my new colleagues view of me. I struggled for so long that the colleague eventually changed the subject and the conversation moved on. I was left feeling very embarrassed for not having been able to give an answer, let alone a satisfying one.
Me being me I have since spent some time reflecting on this situation, asking myself why does that question always throw me so much and also what might be some appropriate answers for next time. As for why it throws me, I have decided this is mainly because I don’t know what assumptions people are making when they look at me. Do I look like someone who is into heavy metal or pop music? Do I look like I’m into sitcoms or reality TV? How much of me can people see? Do I present as a regular adult, or is it obvious I’m a responsible person, but very much in-tune with my inner child. I realise this might be over thinking it a little, and of course that is also classic me, I’m an over thinker, maybe you didn’t know that about me but now you do. I also struggle with the question because I’m a people pleaser. Making others happy make me happy and I’d hate to disappoint others. Therefore I put more pressure on myself than is needed, I have to give that perfect answer, not just any old thing.
Having gone through the process of reflecting on why it threw me so much, I have decided that they only logical course of action is to prepare some answers for next time. If you are reading this and also struggle with these situations maybe my answers could help you come up with some responses of your own. So, what might people not guess about me:
- I love BabyMetal (and a lot of J-Pop)
- I love WWE (Smack down and NXT in particular)
- I used to have snakebites (that’s a type of lip piercing)
- I’ve had blue, purple, orange, black and blonde hair
- I have tattoos (this only works if they haven’t seen them)
- I am a massive Disney fan, and Moana is quickly becoming my favourite movie
- I’m vegan (again, this only works if that hasn’t come up before)
Those are all answers that, having had time to prepare them, I think give people a little window into who I am, maybe surprised them a little but isn’t too embarrassing or likely to put them off of liking me.
Now I just have to make sure I get into a situation where someone will ask me the question again so that I can show off my new answers!