Thursday, January 1, 2015

Where Did All My Social Grace Go?

One of my favorite things about being human is our ability to change for the better.  For all of my high expectations and grand desires, I have some large cavities where my social grace should be.  I think and feel so much, but the things I intend to express and demonstrate have a difficult time coming to the surface in the moment it's needed.  Not everyone can be the perfect host or the most gracious conversationalist, I know.  Still, it has effected my friendships and I'm understanding how valuable friendships are to my health.  And that means I need to change for the better.

In the past I've gotten angry at certain quirks I possess and try to ignore or change them.  Things like I'm bad under pressure (even mild pressure) or being tired or overstimulated makes me more emotional and reactive.  Ignoring them didn't change the painful outcome.  Trying to change the way my body is wired is pretty hard too.  So what do you do? Being wired or even conditioned a certain way doesn't necessarily justify the results.  The only thing, next to prayer and God's mercy, that helps is to accommodate and plan for the quirks. 

We have some pretty special new years traditions that I love, but aren't ideal for an awkward highly sensitive person.  This year I felt a victory because I took a necessary break to catch my breath, let my kids rest, etc.  I suppressed the fear that I might miss something and instead did what my family needed.  A victory for sure, but I still found myself reactive and keeping a distance from those I desire a better relationship with.  

The double-edge of adulthood is that you're able to unearth the pain and distortions of youth and hopefully put them to rest indefinitely.  The trouble is what you're left with sometimes leaves much to be desired.  When I was a teenager I really thought of myself as a people person.  I could soak up the dynamics of people and loved to over-think what it all meant.  Now as an adult I realize I'm not a people person, but more of a principle and deep feeler person.  I can stick to my guns and feel the weight of the world with the best of them, but it has left me poorly skilled in friendship. 

In 2015, I want to make a difference.  One of the most significant ways I can do that is through what I teach my children.  We often learn how to have friends and be a friend from our family.  I don't want to leave a legacy of awkwardness or arms length relationships.  I won't ever be your hostess with the mostest, but I'm praying this year I will learn the skills and habits of being a good friend.  If you ever want to teach me some friendship skills or help me practice, feel free! Just be prepared for a few deer in the headlights interactions at first!

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