Thursday, October 10, 2013

Family is for fun, and friends are forever.

Maybe it's not true, but it'd be an interesting approach. What if we treated our family (and closest friends) like we didn't necessarily just expect them to be there forever? What if we treated our friends or our acquaintances like they mattered; like they weren't just convenient or only good for fun. What if...when we related to our families, engaging with them just for fun, it changed the dynamic?

Try it out on a stranger. It might be easier, safer, when no one you know is watching. When you're not as vulnerable to the feelings that a close one can bring out, upon their impending rejection of you (or your thoughts or ideas).

Wait for someone to walk by, and then say hello. Now say hello, to the next person, and the next, until you count 20 people. Did it change you, even for a minute? (You thought it would be about their reaction, didn't you?) What did it do for you, inside you?

The next task might be only for those a bit more brave. Come on, you're brave!
Stand in the same place, or pick somewhere new. It doesn't matter. Tell people to have a wonderful day. Smile at them. Keep smiling, even if they look at you funny. Do that with 20 people again.

How do you feel?
Experience your feelings.
Think about them, and where your confidence comes from, or where it is not present.
Would only their responses change your feelings, or can you change them, by perceiving things differently. Think about the different thoughts you might have, or prejudgments, about why someone might be saying hello to you, if the roles were reversed, If you were the passerby.

Lastly, pick a place to sit; a public place.
Talk to one random person. Say hello. Ask them how they are. Find something nice to say, something encouraging or complimentary (if it's true).
Take note of how they react. Take note of how you react.

Go home (or to your immediate family member's home). Ask them how they are. Say hello. Say something encouraging. Show up just to have fun. Go somewhere. Listen. Laugh. Treat them like friends. Maybe they'll be fun.

Go to your friends. Pick a few, with good hearts; maybe ones you haven't been close to, but have fun with. Tell them they matter. Ask how they are. Find something nice to say. Maybe they'll be family forever.

Go to a stranger. Ask them how they are. Tell them they're worth something. Find something nice to say. (Rescue Missions, Retirement Homes, Orphanages, Cancer Hospitals - these are great places to find these people.) Maybe these people will become friends.
(*Caveat: sometimes this invites insult or injury. Don't let a few bad seeds get you to throw away the whole fruit.)

How are you feeling? I hope we can become friends. I know you're worth something, and I hope you have people who tell you so. If not, start with telling them. Sometimes breaking the ice is the hardest thing.

Good luck!!!!