Will You Talk To Me?

Do you ever wonder what makes us connect with another person?

I have about 3 categories of people: people I love and easily get along with, people that are cool but we aren’t that close, and people I just don’t want to be around.

The hardest group for me is the second one, the people that are cool but we aren’t that close. These are the people I have to make small talk with. These are the people that I would like to have a conversation with but I honestly just don’t know how. I don’t know how to change the comfort level for these people.

I am at a point in my life where if I can’t just be silent with you, it’ll be hard for me to be close to you. I need to be around people that can either facilitate the conversation or are cool just hanging out. I will try to make conversation but my mind doesn’t work as quickly or freely as it once you used.

I used to wonder what was wrong with me. Turns out that this is just my personality. I am not super social. I’m social up to a limit. I will always smile at you but if you aren’t easy to talk to, I have a hard time communicating.

It’s hard to be accepting that this is my personality. I don’t like feeling unfriendly or like people don’t want to talk to me. I judge myself for it. I should be more outgoing. I should be friendlier to people who have tried to be friendly to me.

But honestly, I just have an easier time around people that I feel comfortable around. I have to work hard to change that. Sometimes, I’m not even sure I want to.

What type of personality do you have?

Having a Family: Commitment or Sacrifice

– By Anonymous

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights – Pauline R Kezer

In reflecting on my life in the last 5 years, I see myself as a different person than I had envisioned. I knew children would change me and change my lifestyle, but not in the way it has. 5 years ago, I drew my energy from being around others, from being in social situations, and from conversations with my family of friends. I swore that this wouldn’t change by having children. Fast forward to now and I re-energize by having moments of quiet time those late hours when I’m awake because my 4-year-old is having nightmares, those wee early morning hours when not a soul is yet awake in my house, or those minutes when my office door is closed and no one comes knocking. When did I change from being an extrovert to an introvert?

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that I’ve been hiding in a cave of sorts. Whether it was a conscious or unconscious decision to limit my interactions with others is unclear; what is clear is that I’ve made some lifestyle changes and am re-evaluating and prioritizing those important things in my life.

I talked to several people during this enlightening time and have come to the conclusion that some people perceive the time spent with young children and limiting “mommy time” – time away from the children – as a sacrifice: a sacrifice of the self. Others perceive this time as a commitment. I count myself in the camp of those who consider it a commitment. Growing up, I saw my cousins allow their parents raise their children, giving more of themselves to their social lives and career ambitions. I never wanted to be the parent who relied so heavily on grandparents. I firmly believe that my children should know me as their mom. I am also an ambitious career woman (which also adds guilt because I spend so much time away from my kids) so when I am home with my family, everything else gets shut off. No text messages, no phone calls, no tv. I am committed to being “mommy” which means I get to have dance parties with my kids before bed, read stories, and enjoys tickles and giggles. Please don’t misunderstand. There are also moments of frustration but I’m committed to helping my children work through tantrums, fights, and experiencing such intense emotions.

Did I forget to mention my role as wife? I also have a firm belief that without a solid foundation, whether that is as a single parent or as a two parent household, parenting can go south real quick. So when the kids are asleep or entertaining themselves, I work on making that foundation as solid as possible (in addition to completing chores such as dishes, general cleaning and laundry).

So commitment or sacrifice? I suppose that is in how one perceives the various roles a woman plays when she becomes a mother (or the roles a man plays when he becomes a father) and also depends on how one chooses to prioritize the different aspects and responsibilities in his or her life.

I have changed and I am committed to my family. I’m not here to judge those who choose a different way, I’m just asking to not be judged for choosing my way.

Socially Awkward

One of my good girlfriends was surprised when I told her I was an introvert. Unless I’m comfortable with the people I’m with, I’m not too good at being super social. 

If I end up in a room with a bunch of people I don’t know, I have to force myself to be friendly. I would much rather curl up in the corner with a good book. I have a friend who can literally walk into a place and make friends with everyone there and leave knowing everyone’s life story. I really wish I could do that. 

Those people who can be friends with everyone amaze me. And I don’t mean the fake people that pretend to be friends with you. I mean the sincere people who really want to know you and create a new relationship. 

So what makes us introverted? I don’t know if it’s entirely the insecurity of the possibility that the new people you meet might not like you or if it’s just a preference. I don’t think being an introvert is a bad thing at all. It’s who you are. I just have trouble accepting it for myself because I judge myself to be socially awkward when I’m not the person who knows everyone in the room. Talking to someone one on one is much easier for me. Put me in a room of a bunch of people I don’t know and I want to run the other way. 

I asked my cousin once on how she manages to go anywhere and be comfortable talking to anyone. She told me that her secret is just to ask them about themselves. I still have to learn to employ this technique. 

Being introverted is a challenge. It’s not an easy thing to overcome. One day, I hope to be comfortable enough with myself that I have an easier time being in a large crowd. I’m pretty sure I can’t be the only person who feels this way. 

How do you manage to be social in a large crowd?