Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Doing What Comes Naturally

"Relating to people more honestly is certainly possible. Find someone you have withheld something from and tell it to him. See what happens. Next time you feel like touching someone, do it. Next time you are hurt or frightened, express it. When you catch yourself trying to protect an image, stop, and see if you can be real instead. If you're embarrassed to pay someone a compliment, do it anyway. If you want to know how people respond to you, ask them." - William Schutz
This quote has been in my favorite quotes section on my face book page for a while now. I first discovered it a year ago when I was taking Small Group Communication. I was in the Flying M reading for class one day when I came across the quote in my textbook. I thought it was great! How often to people hold back because they’re afraid of the consequences? In theory, this is a great quote. If a person were to heed Schutz’s advice, they could come out of a fear of social interaction and be able to better connect with people. Since I wrote this on my face book page though, I’ve had to think about whether or not I really want to keep it on there. I think this quote could cause someone to take an extreme approach to interaction, and seriously trespass on someone’s personal space.

I get caught up in thinking about this too much. But in all actuality, I tend to read this quote as a guide for overcoming my fear of that particular girl I may have a crush on. Why is it that when I start to like someone, I automatically question everything I do? The relationship may be fine for a while, but there'ss a moment in my mind when the “crush” switch gets flipped, and it’s always downhill from there. I proofread every text I send to her 5 times before sending it. I lay in bed thinking about what I could have said differently to her earlier that day, and what I can say to her the next time I see her. I lose sleep. I can’t read books as easily, because my mind is too occupied with thoughts about her. I get jealous of anyone else she may talk to, or spend time with. I get jealous of her family! The more examples I write, the more I realize that this is a serious problem.

Here’s my best diagnosis: I crave time with a girl that I like, because I feel that every moment spent together is another chance I have to convince her that I’m the kind of guy she could date. It’s pretty selfish. If I ever want to lead a normal life, with normal relationships, I need to chill out. The reason these relationships eventually die is because I focus so much on my own agenda, and completely ignore the other persons needs. I can’t imagine how unfulfilling it would actually be if I was ever in a relationship like that. Not only would the chase be over, but my agenda would be accomplished. I would have convinced the girl that I’m datable material, and then what? That relationship couldn’t survive.

I’ve been asking God to help increase three things in my life. Patience, respect, and selflessness. Otherwise, every relationship I pursue will never amount to anything important, and I will be lonely for a long time. I’m tired of thinking about whether or not I should speak or stay silent, reach out and touch or hold back. I’m tired of second-guessing every action. I’m sure I’m not the only person that’s tired of it either.

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