The most difficult aspect of living in a foreign country and trying to minister to others is…. the people. Well, not the actual people, but the socializing. Not just here either. This means keeping up with people back at home, making phone calls, writing emails… the list goes on. At first realization of this fact, I was very disappointed in myself. Ministry is people. Life is people. What is wrong with you that you don’t seem to like human beings?
The more I pondered over this idea, the more sense it began to make. At first I blamed it on the depression. It seemed to be the easiest scapegoat, especially since it couldn’t deny the accusations. Even on the good days though, being social sucks there energy right of my wonderful body. ( To understand that reference please see previous post). There are several reasons that socializing is difficult.
1. People are needy. They are, or we are; however you choose to see it. We all have needs. We need love, attention, touch, understanding, patience, time, money… the list is infinite. While this makes people a little intimidating, it can also be a good thing. This provides us with the opportunity to reach out to others. We can be that helping hand or that shoulder to cry on. What a privilege! We can do and be what no other specimen on this planet can do and be. We get to be human!
2. Because people are needy, failure seems imminent. I won’t know the right thing to say. They might want me to hug them, and that is scary. What if they ask a question that I don’t know how to answer? Often, it is not important that we have the right answers or always do the right thing at exactly the right time. Many times, people just need to know we care and that we are trying. The only sure way to fail is to never try.
3. Everyone has it all-together, except me. This is simply not true. Other people may look like they are perfect. They may act like they are perfect, but no one is perfect. Deep down inside, we all have fears and insecurities. Often, those who put on the best act are only trying to hide those insecurities from others. The same can probably be said about mean people as well – just trying to hide insecurities.
4. Lack of confidence can make any socializing a frightening event. How different life would be if everyone would realize that though we are all unique, we are also very alike. There is no person better than another person. We are all flesh and bones. We all breathe, sleep, eat, and carry on the same. The amazing thing about humanity is that our uniqueness helps make us amazing. You are a wonderful, amazing person just like you are. The way you dress is fine. The way you talk is fine. You be you. You are beautiful. Everyone else can embrace it or move on. You are too special to be pushed down by the expectations of others or even your own fears. Let the world see who you are, because in reality, you are pretty amazing.
5. Number five is devoted to the extras. Many people have problems that make socializing difficult. Some people deal with social anxiety. Others may deal with depression or something that makes the desire to be social basically vanish. Whatever your number five is, don’t let it hold you back. Life is people. Sure, when we put ourselves “out there” we become vulnerable. If we are vulnerable, we could be hurt. That is very true, but if we never put ourselves out there, we may miss something or someone amazing.
No, I have not achieved perfection in the area of socializing. I still hate to leave my house and would be fine if days passed with only virtual contact with humans. So no, the metamorphosis is not complete. But we all have start somewhere, right? 🙂
Thank you very much for reading, but these are just my opinions. What is your opinion? Can you think of some other contributing factors to the difficulty of social activity? Share your thoughts in the comments, if you would like. Cheers!