Monday, February 07, 2005

My life

I had a long post all ready and I lost it while running spell check.

Anyway, Tolani and I have been talking about us and me especially. I have two major issues that are causing issues with us. First, I have a fear of failure. I am afraid to try new things unless I know I will succeed. If I feel that there is a high failure rate I won't do it. The problem is that I say things like that so Tolani won't approach the idea of going dancing or going to symphonies (she likes those things) because I have said I don't dance or classical music sucks (it does by the way-personal preference). Going to a symphony just means I must endure the boredom and think about other things, no fear, I'll go anytime she just never told me she wanted to go before. But dancing is a different subject. I have a fear that I will fail. I hate failure unless it is something I do on purpose. (I have done that in two classes before.) I hate not being confident in what I about to try. I was 80% certain Tolani would go out with me. If I was not I never would have asked. Rejection is the worst kind of failure. But for Tolani I will take dancing lessons. Where do I start? Help please!

The second thing is that I can be abrasive. I say things that can get me into trouble. Usually they are ideas. The problem is that I love the college setting. All ideas get air time. I live in this world. Every idea should be heard equally. The real world isn't like that. Either most people don't think and question or they play a game. J.D. Salinger called the game phony. Maybe that is the key to larger societies. We have to be phony on some level. I just don't like what the phoniness means. It means being silent and getting more innocent (both American and Iraqi) getting killed. It means many other things, I just don't care to list them now. My problem is that if I am coming off like an ass (my word for abrasive) then I am not accomplishing anything. So how do make my political stance known without being an ass? This is my million dollar question. I need some help.


Fear - Pick up "Seizing Your Divine Moment" by Erwin McManus, one of the best books that I am reading at the moment, but he deals with this issue head on.

Being less abrasive - Maybe I'm the wrong one to ask, but what helped me out a little was a sociological theory of space. There is Public, Social, Private and Intimate space and relationships. Public is the farthest both physically and emotionally. Public relationships are the bank teller, waiter/waitress, Customer Service Rep, etc. You may or may not know their first name and they provide a service that is not personal on any level. Some of the best waitresses (I have not had a waiter do this) I have had moved into more of a social relationship than a public one. Social is where we can talk about facts about sports, weather, current events etc, but no true opinions or strong emotions.

Private is where you can share your thoughts and opinions with people and they listen and then share their's with you. Intimate is where you can share unformed thoughts, ideas and dreams without fear of rejection for those ideas.

Maybe why you are seen as an ass is because you are sharing private information with public and social relationships. One unconsciously feels like they have been intruded on or violated if that happens. Last night R and I used a coupon at Cold Stone and the person behind the counter shared her life story (or at the last weekend) with me because I asked how she was doing. That was a violation of the public relationship as she shared not only social, but private information with me. This happens a lot to me (R was nice enough to point this out) so I was only slightly uncomfortable with it.

Since you asked for help, try seeing if you know the person you are talking to well enough to be able to share certain information or opinions about a certain subject. Also, just because the person behind the counter shared private information did not give me permission to share any private information of my own. Hope that helps,

By Blogger Dwight, at 7:07 AM  

Hi, Bill!

Dwight gives helpful advice!

We all have "fears" of the unknown, but not doing the best job, or leaving our "comfort zones." It is moving beyond the "comfort zones" and facing fears that they have less affect upon us - or at least those fears do not. There will always be fears! Some we move through, others hold us back. My best method of facing fear is to "go forward."

Dancing? Let Tolani lead and you'll do fine. This may be an exercise that you might approach seriously, but learn it in an "non-serious/non-threatening" mode. Have fun with it. You might prove to be an adept dancer, but keep your "day job." You might find it will be a wonderful social outlet to forget the cares of the day, the office, the appointment, etc.

You have to be the one to determine how to handle abrasiveness. What you say may not appear "abrasive" to some, but may appear that way to others. You have to move forward carefully until you know what that person finds "acceptable" or "abrasive." Some people would call that "being transparent" not abrasive.

Bill, "a one, two, three, four..." I think you can dance! The best a video on dancing and learn the first moves at home privately before dancing at the won't be as intimidated for fearful.

God bless you!

Lloyd Michael Fletcher

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:53 PM  

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