I have a very specific strain of social anxiety. It is the fear of small talk within 50m of my home. I don't love small talk in the best of circumstances, I sometimes joke with my friends that I only do big talk. This usually has very positive or very negative results but whatevs, I'd rather be entertained and impolite than bored with every human interaction.
I understand the purpose of small talk, it is a quick no intrusive means of connecting but despite my happy go lucky exterior, I like rules and the rules of small talk are constantly evolving (like are we allowed to ask people about their job now?) I think it would be easier if there was an alternative to small talk, like joining in with a chorus of a popular 90's hit (Backstreets Back anyone?).
Apparently introverts don't like small talk and I think I'm an introvert. Although I'm as exciteable as a labrador puppy and have a mild case of showy offiness, I do find constant interactions quite draining. This is why I think small talk close to my home makes me feel scared. My home is my sanctuary. I can pad about in fleece, talking to no one and thinking about nothing and my social skills reignite like a rechargable battery. If I have to make small talk near my home there's always the fear that the conversation will find it's way into my house! My safe space. This fear makes life with neighbours difficult. Making benign chat about greenfly is good neighbour 101. Or so I thought...
Corgi HomePlan have launched a campaign called How Safe Is Your Street and it's all about encouraging people to make sure their neighbours are okay. That means less chat about the weather and more talking about what life is really like behind closed doors.
60% of people surveyed by CORGI HomePlan said they would like to know their neigbours better and would like to do more for their community. A more connected community is a safer community and it all starts with a conversation. For lots of ideas about how to build a better community have a looksie at the How Safe Is Your Street hub.
For any readers that want to prioritise safety both inside and outside of the home enter the competition below to win a carbon monoxide alarm worth £40.
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photo credit: 13 February 2011 via photopin (license)