We at The Pod deal with many different forms of communication through an amazing variety of people and we are always amazed how long it can take to truly know someone. 
 
It’s usually a random comment during a conversation that we find out someone’s hobby, favourite show, view on best crisp flavour (Prawn Cocktail – obviously!). These little nuggets of information are what make us the unique souls we are! WE LOVE NUGS! 
 
So, we’d like to share our thoughts on getting to know each other, first impressions and accepting they might wear crocs or odd socks. Or even... Crocs WITH socks! 

First Impressions 

Often, this is when we are our most guarded, on our best behaviour; like meeting your partners parents for the first time. Some of us can get anxious, it may be hard to show who you are without often thinking - What if they don’t like me? What if they think I’m crazy? What if they think I’m boring? 
 
Sometimes these nerves should be cherished, everyone thinks fondly of butterflies in their stomach on a first date for example, performers use them to fuel the fire and use that energy on stage. I like to think of it this way - would I rather feel something or nothing at all? 
 
Small talk is often regarded badly, sometimes it is, but that’s generally when it’s not your first interaction. It can be an offer for you to interact and learn more about each other, a window into deeper conversation, you never know what it could lead to, give it a go. 

Life of a clown 

The same goes for the performers out there, it’s not just those that struggle to open up, often the centre of attraction aren’t being themselves either, rather putting on a show as that’s their way of coping. 
 
I was one of these. Through experience, I’ve learnt I want to save my energies for people that should get them, it’s not my duty to do all the work for everyone else. Someone else can bring something to the party. 

Wearing Crocs 

Ah yes, the Nickelback of footwear, berated by all but those who wear them. Why do they wear them then? Because they are so bloody comfy that the owner really doesn’t give a rat’s **** what anyone else thinks! I doubt a nurse who’s on her feet 12 hours a day saving lives cares what is going on fashion-wise on their feet. 
 
Find your inner croc wearer, it will make you and those around you more comfortable. 
 
(Dee wanted to add that she is a fan of BOTH Nickelback AND Crocs!) 

Marmite 

Spurs vs Arsenal, EastEnders vs Coronation Street, Strictly Come Dancing vs Britain's Got Talent, Star Wars vs Star Trek… You get the point, not everyone will like you. No one owes it to you to like you either. Don’t be upset by it, they won’t be. If we all liked the same things life would be utterly boring. We are all unique beings, that’s what makes us brilliant! 
 
Create a pod with the right squad! 

I wear odd socks. 

Being yourself can make eyebrows raise. However, I’ve never heard anyone compliment matching socks at a meeting or on a night out, in fact people gravitate to these oddities because it’s not what THEY would do. 
 
I wear odd socks, I’ve said it, I am happy to declare this, I don’t iron them, I just have a bag I stick them in and grab what comes out. 
 
Dee always makes sure they are matched and neatly tucked together when she can get a hold of them (which I love her for). I don’t put DVD’s back in the right boxes and Dee is obsessed with things being in the right place (Do not get me started on her current obsession with storage boxes) 
 
She is incredibly organised. I’m not. Outside of work I’m chaos but she and I came to the understanding through communication…. 
 
“As long as the socks are clean and not on the floor.” 
 
Sometimes we are opposites on things, sometimes we agree, sometimes it’s grey area but we are always OURSELVES. We promise though that if you open yourself up to someone, they’ll open up to you. 
 
Would any of the pod want each other to change? No, but have we changed thanks to being ourselves with each other? Yes. 
 
Remember to be good to yourself and each other, communicate, embrace all of our quirks and differences and remember that being yourself is not an excuse for being a d*ck. If you are, take a minute to ask yourself WHY you’re being a dick. 
 
We’re not judging, you may have trauma you need to deal with. It’s important for you to be happy inside and treat people with kindness outside. 
 
Until next time, 
Mike 
The Man Hippo 
MMIH. 
 
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