I saw this sign for the first time in a former neighbor’s home, and I thought to myself “Bingo!”
Social situations, especially when I don’t know anyone, have always been stressful for me. And by always, I mean since like 4th grade (1978). That was the year my family made its first “big” move. Consequently my world got rocked and I had to make new friends, which I find very challenging. I’ll be honest, I am actually jealous of those who find it an easy task. The ability to open up to someone and begin a conversation which then develops into a friendship, is a real talent as far as I am concerned. It is not that I am unable do it; the effort it takes, and getting past my own insecurities, are what is difficult for me. This doesn’t seem to be getting better with age, but I am conscious of it, so I push myself to make regular attempts at conversation and friendship.
Since I know insecurity is the root of my social anxiety, and is something most people deal with, at least from time to time, I know I am in good company. The big questions is how to get past it, and I have yet to figure that out. Often [in the appropriate social situation] a glass of wine will do wonders for my jitters, but that is not always a viable option, especially when it is a 10 a.m. volunteer committee meeting. Wine on my breath at that time of day would not create a great first impression…memorable, but certainly not impressive.
So what is my problem? It is not as if I go around drooling or picking my nose. I am, by most people’s standards, socially well-adjusted and acceptable. Yet I battle [insecurity], to some degree, all the time. In fact there have been situations when I have actually said to myself “why would that person want to get to know me?”
And my biggest challenge has always been getting from surface chit-chat (for example at an exercise class I might see someone a couple of times a week and yet can’t get past…”How much did YOUR thighs hurt the day after our last class? Mine were kill’n me!” or “Say, do you have any idea how did Flower Mound did at the football game last night?”) to “you want to go to Starbucks for a latte?” without sounding like I am a creepy stalker or something…
In my attempt to tackle the enemy head on, I read Beth Moore’s book entitled, “So Long Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to us”. (Which is a great book, even though the title is kind of funny). In her book Beth claims, “Nothing is more impressive than a person who is secure in the unique way God made her.” LOVE THAT LINE! I am resigned to the fact that with regards to insecurity, like most other areas of my life, I am work in progress.