In my most cynical moments, I have believed that there is no such thing as pure altruism.
Like I said.
Every day express your love to 3 people, animals or objects
Be true to your heart
Keep doing it for 3 months & your life will totally change
— Yoko Ono (@yokoono) August 3, 2017
Basically, this: I’ve been feeling lonely. Stymied. Flummoxed. In therapy, I bemoan my solitude and ask my therapist, “What can I do to create meaningful relationships with people?”
“Be more vulnerable” was the answer we settled on. So I’ve been thinking about vulnerability (more on that later) and what exactly that looks like, and how it’s supposed to make people open up to me and embrace me as a friend.
Because honestly, the only way I knew how to be vulnerable was like, the way I was vulnerable with my therapist, i.e., crying about my problems. And I had no idea how that was going to help me Win Friends And Influence People.
So it’s been tumbling around my head like rocks for a little while, What does it mean to be vulnerable? And one of the crystals that popped out was this:
PUTTING MYSELF OUT THERE.
In high school, I was painfully shy. I pretty much hated myself on my own behalf and on other’s. I projected that self-loathing onto eveyone else and thought I shouldn’t even bother trying to socialize. I felt so shitty about myself as a person that I felt like nobody wanted me around, so I kept to myself and eventually, it became a habit. Then, in senior year, when other people started approaching me, I was amazed at the interactions I was having. It took me years of isolating myself to realize that I was the fucking problem. My shyness came across as STANDOFFISHNESS. What the fuck. WHO KNEW???
So taking that lesson I learned about not being the shy asshole – because it’s okay to be introverted, I think, but it can be a double-edged sword. See, if you’re naturally shy (as I), and you don’t wish to come across as standoffish (as I do not), you can try to put yourself out there. This can backfire sometimes and cause people to think you’re being “fake.” Because it goes the other way, too…and maybe we’ll talk about that later.
But right now, we’re just putting it out there. “Just putting it out there” is the name of my new personal campaign to be vulnerable by taking risks in social interactions that I normally would be terrified by.
Mostly, commenting on people’s Instagram stories.
And blogs! And Twitter! And Facebook! All of these are things that, you know, I enjoy when other people do to me, so why not do it to them? I mean, “why not” is easy to answer: the shy girl on my left shoulder screams “BECAUSE THEY’LL THINK YOU’RE CREEEEEEPYYYYYY!!!” and maybe, maybe so.
But on the off chance that they enjoy the attention the same way I do, I’ll just keep putting it out there.
image via Pixabay