Friday, July 20, 2007

With Pain Comes Pleasure...I hope!

A couple of Sundays ago I had an awkward conversation. It went a little something like this:

You have been demoted because my neck is killing me. There may be a day when I will need you again, like when I get sick or I need my ankle elevated, until then...

Then I realized how desperate I've become for conversation...Because I was talking to my pillow.

I can't say with certainty that my neck is 100%, but its a heck of a lot better than it was two weeks ago. At one point I couldn't even tilt my head to the left, and even when I tried for some stupid reason (ouchie), I would cheat and raise my arm and shoulder. Eventually that got better, but then for somehow my "pain in the neck" migrated from the left to the middle. I finally countered the pain with some Icy Hot pads and defeated it for the most part. The left side of my neck is still sore, and I'm still feeling a little discomfort in the middle. One of my co-workers suggested that I go and get a massage. I'm all for that, but I'm scared that I may end up getting some guy violating me instead of a woman (stupid Seinfeld episode).

I guess I can say that I learned from my pain though. When I had that "conversation" it opened up a "can of worms" of thought (isn't a can of worms supposed to be troublesome). Well it was, I came to a realization, yet I still don't have an answer to the question.

Obviously if I was sitting there talking to my pillow before bed I have issues. I'm not the only one though, just about everyone on Earth has at least one. I on the other hand, have more than one. I think I have mentioned this before...I'm shy, so I rarely ever start a conversation. When I first got my current job, I tried my hardest to greet people. I would say hi, and my co-workers would say it back to me. Eventually though I noticed, that I was doing most of the greeting and no one would say hi to me first. I know it sounds silly, but I was deprived of attention from a one of my parents growing up. I guess you could say, that I didn't feel loved enough. I felt unwanted, so when I noticed that I wasn't being said hello to me as much as I was saying hello, I felt unwanted.


So eventually I became afraid to say hello to people again. So every time I would walk by someone, I would stare at them wanting to say hi. So I would end up with an awkward stare, as I pass them by. And each time this would happen, I felt like I lost a little bit more of my confidence.

Rewind back to two Sundays ago, I thought to myself that maybe the problem is that I don't know exactly when I should be the one to greet someone or when I should be the one who should be greeted.

For instance, lets say if I am sitting in the break room and someone walks in, who is the greeter, and who is the greetee(OK not a real word). I don't comprehend the rules of social behavior very well. I think Data was better in social gatherings than me. Anyone have some tips and advice, I am all ears. While your at it lend me some courage.


Trish said...

When I'm unsure about a greeting, I give the "smile and nod". When/if they smile and nod back, I know I can continue and offer a greeting or start a conversation.

Sometimes, if I'm feeling extra friendly, I'll even throw in a "Hey".. especially if we're walking past each other in a corridor - 'cause then I'm too focused on where I'm going to worry about their response.

Hope your neck gets better fast! I hate neck pain.

Chris said...

I'm naturally shy too but I've made myself work to overcome it.

One thing that worked for me was making a game of trying to make eye contact and speak first with strangers who I happen to meet. I find that when I focus on that, I'm not really thinking about the shyness.

But I still revert to "recluse mode" every now and then!

Have a great weekend!
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shari said...

Even when you don't feel it is fair and balanced from others, I think you should try not to focus on that perspective.
I think you should force yourself to be the one who initiates it. Then you are being a leader. You can know inside that YOU made the positive effort whether others do or not. Other people could be caught up in their own lives (distracted) or also lack the confidence...or maybe just altogether nonchalant. Have you ever experienced someone catching you off guard by smiling and saying "Hi"? It probably made you feel good and that is what you are spreading. You might make someone's day and initiate confidence in them and they might smile at someone else and they...(see what you could start?)

I have on and off days. (with confidence/friendliness) I've gotten aggravated at people when they don't respond to a smile, or the fact that I let them over in traffic, or held a door, etc. but those that do respond make up for the ones that don't. And in the grand scheme of things... I'd rather be the person that didn't allow certain people to affect my kindness to others.

shari said...

Oh-- and that pillow comment--
"Demoted." lolol

Michelle said...

ooh, hard one. I was a shy kid. My mom would push me forward and say "Say HELLO!" ..and I'd just turn into frozen popsicle kid.

I'm still not great with "small talk" and who says hello first. Why do you think I write? :-) I swear I think 90% of the people I've met online are those who find they can express who they are better through written word than spoken.

In my case the key was finding I can make people laugh, which was necessary as I'm also the person most likely to try to push a door labelled "PULL" or to trip and knock somthing over. (I've done both of those several times) So I needed to get in first and laugh first in order to convince everyone I was a brilliant comic rather than a klutz. ;-)