Saturday, October 04, 2008

what's your sign?

Recently I have come to the conclusion that life (at least, MY life) would be monumentally easier if every person wore a sign around his/her neck that listed Things You Should Know About Me If You Want to Be My Friend. (Or something that means the same thing but sounds way less cheesy and dorky).

Logistics (such as: Is it really prudent to have such a sign be visible at all times or should it only appear when someone really DOES want to be your friend? and How many things go on the list?) aside - I'm convinced this is a stellar idea. The fact that I came up with the idea has nothing to do with its obvious merit. *cough*

Inane and inconsequential "insights" like I like basketball would only be allowed on the list if your liking borders on obsession and it would truly be helpful for someone to know this prior to going about the business of becoming your friend.

Now, I'm not talking about taking all the fun out of getting to know someone - because I really do like the discovery process involved in growing new friendships. I'm also not advocating that the sign hanging around the neck would in any way serve as a deterrent ("Oh, now that I know that, I don't want to be your friend") NOPE.

It's just that (especially early on) a lot of time/energy/potentially hurt feelings could be saved if we had certain tidbits of information upfront.

Katie, I just don't get exactly what you mean!

Here's a completely made-up, not-at-all-realistic or exactly and precisely accurate "for instance":

One of the items on my sign would read: "I don't like feeling/looking stupid." (Don't like is probably way too gently put, actually) I know that very few people probably actually like feeling and/or looking stupid, so it seems like a silly thing to say - but run with me here for a minute, folks.

My intense dislike for feeling/looking stupid is pride-based. I am well aware of this, and it is definitely something I struggle with and work on - on a daily basis. I want people to think I have it together and I can handle things. I know it shouldn't matter to me - and God & I are in the process of working on that.

HOWEVER - those that know and love me are aware of this - and are particularly judicious with their advice/help/comments - they know me well enough to wait until I ask for help or input, or they know how to say things or to approach me in a way that doesn't seem condescending or patronizing. Above all - they show more interest in me as a person than in what they can do for me - and that (for me) is a really good thing. I appreciate their willingness to love me where I am, despite the fact that I probably should be somewhere else.

I've met new people who didn't know this about me - and occasionally, in their unknowing efforts to "be helpful" wind up setting off a defensive alarm in my head. Advice is given (that is almost certainly well-intentioned) that makes me feel talked-down-to and suddenly... walls go up. Well-meaning help is offered - and I transform into someone who is "incapable" - which makes me want to avoid the person offering the help because now I think they think I can't hack it on my own.

I know - I'm crazy. But the thing is - if I had a sign around my neck, everyone who wanted to be my friend could KNOW how crazy I am and could (if they so chose) adjust their approach to me.
Likewise - I would be thrilled to not inadvertently step on someone else's "emotional toes" and learn, from the very beginning, to love them where they are...

Sometimes, I think a little tip-off wouldn't be that bad.

What would your sign say??

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Completley Unrelated and Gratuitous Baby Pictures:

Hazel has enjoyed music, specifically acoustic guitar, since before she was born. This just further evidence that we have a little prodigy on our hands.

Not that I'm biased or anything.

4 thoughts:

katemcdonald said...

I love the sign idea, the only thing is I am afraid of what I might have to admit to on it!!! *grin*

I have a little boy, Cohen, who also loves the guitar! My husband can hardly play it around him because he can't keep his little hands off of it! Love the pics!

Julie said...

Hazel looks really really happy and content. I love her smile!

You know, after reading your post, I think we would be wearing the same sign. I hate it when people give me advice. Because of that, I rarely share my thoughts or feeling during say... a Bible Study setting. Then, I come across as being shy. Which, I'm not. Or, if I do finally share my voice and my mannerisms tend to be a bit exaggerated and I sound mad or passionate about something that really means little to me.

Anywoo, I hear ya' sister!

Phoenix Rising said...

please proceed with caution...completely insecure person ahead.

i may act secure, but i'm not. i don't think people like me, i don't think i'm cool enough, pretty enough or good enough even though i desperately want to be. it's ridiculous. i wish i was just cool about being me and not wishing i was someone else.

Dilyn said...

oh that pride :-)