This week I’ve been thinking alot about how we interact with each other in groups, and how someone is marked out as a stranger or a friend. I like the saying that there is no such thing as a stranger, just a friend you haven’t met yet, but for alot of us, adapting to new people, and new ways of doing things, is hard. It seems to get harder the older you get too!
We worry that the person who is new will change things too much, or not enough. We worry that they will not understand us and our ways or the things we like to do, and we worry that their ways won’t be as good as ours, and we will have to compromise.
For many people who are single, this is the biggest fear for starting a relationship, but for me now, it’s played out more at work, where I am often dealing with people from a range of backgrounds and different approaches. The time I most feel self-conscious is during an interview, and like most people feel exposed and uncomfortable saying “this is me” and “this is how I would support you”. I really admire my friends who can go “Take me or leave me” this is how I am. I spend too much energy trying to second guess what people think of me, and how I come across.
My sister once gave me a really good piece of advice though, which I often think of which is noone can make you feel anything, they just say things and you have a reaction, so noone can tell you that what you are feeling is wrong or incorrect, it’s just how you feel. Often I think we put too much emphasis on everyone feeling great the whole time, when sometimes things just have to be done. Certainly my kids and alot of my friends families have alot more attention on how they are doing then we did growing up.