Yesterday I asked you to consider how much of what you do is genuinely from your desire versus being controlled by an outside force. Recently I was speaking with a friend who said she wanted to go to a party on Saturday night but was thinking about skipping it because she did not want to have to make conversation with a potential guest. She knew this person from a few months before and felt that there would be an obligation to engage in conversation if they were at the same event. I remember thinking that a. I’ve found myself in that same situation before and b. wow it’s really unfortunate. It’s not fair that her genuine interest and possible enjoyment in going to this party are being jeopardized because of a social obligation she feels. My next thought was, well does she really have to speak to this person for a long time if they run into each other? She actually doesn’t. So long as you give a friendly hello, there is nothing more truly required of you (even though many people believe that “hello” is not enough). Blatantly ignoring someone not acceptable. But, you can certainly be in the same room as someone you know and not have to recount the past 5 months to 5 years of your life. If you are not close enough with the person that they would have known your whereabouts that night, then clearly you came to interact with or meet other people. What’s more, is that person is probably there to mingle with others aside from yourself and may not want to talk for a while either. This social obligation is hardly an obligation at all. If you want to speak with someone for a while go for it, but if you’ve said hello and that’s where you’d like to keep it then you’re also in good shape. Start enjoying yourself and stop letting unwritten (and pretend) rules dictate your actions.