The activity this week was to embrace a counterfactual identity. As I thought of different ideas of what I should dress up as my first thought was to dress up as a samurai warrior with a sword and a rice hat. I thought I would get pretty interesting looks and comments if I decided to do that one. I thought about it some more and I realized that most people would be afraid talking to guy with a sword and decided against it. I had so many other ideas that I wanted to do, but instead I chose to do a simpler one.
I decided to to dress in expensive name brand clothes, put on fake glasses, and actually style my hair. Typically I wear shorts, a tee, and nike socks. On top of the different clothing selection I decided to take on a new personality as well. I am a kind of shy guy and usually will not make the first move to create conversation. I do not mind being alone and I find that being around people all the time can be tiring. I decided that I was going to be the opposite of that. I would be outgoing, aggressive in my conversations, confident to the point of cockyness and to be a the person I am not. Kinda like the Ryan Gosling from “Crazy, Stupid, Love”.
I decided that I would take this new character to the park and test out how people viewed this new Justin. At first I was very nervous talking to people because generally I do not like interacting with new people. So I chose my test subject carefully. I saw this girl sitting at a park bench with her dog and decided that she would be the one. I went up to her asked if I could interview her for a class project and she agreed. I asked her the questions that were posted on the syllabus and she seemed very confused about the questions. She just guessed random names for my name and thought that I was a student in college probably working with fancy clothing. At this point I totally wanted to the end the conversation there, but in order to get accurate results I decided to make small talk. Through out the rest of our conversation I got her to laugh, smile, tell me about her life, and hobbies. Overall i thought we had a good time together and when I asked if I could get a picutre with her she agreed to it.
Talking on a new identity was an interesting experience for me. I learned that I have the ability to be conversation starter and that I can be a confident individual. My hope is that I can remember this activity and apply what I learned in real life.