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My Place In This World & Coping with Social Situations!

April 6, 2010

I was reminded recently of a Michael W. Smith song called “My Place in This World”. That song has always touched my heart…for I have always struggled to feel as if I really fit in anywhere.

As a daughter of the Most High G-d, I am secure as to my place in my heavenly Abba/Father’s kingdom…of my place in the spiritual realm. Yet…even with that security, there are times when I feel so disconnected from everyone and everything that I even experience some doubts about that. Thankfully, I do regain my perspective and the doubts do pass.

When it comes to this world, though, to the people around me…I rarely feel as if I belong. I almost always feel out of place…as if I am on the outside looking in.

In The Cost of Reality, I share how I used to feel almost all the time. For a huge part of my life I rarely, ever felt comfortable or a real part of a group.  I hated going any place where there were a lot of people I did not know. I was almost panic-stricken the first day of school every year. I was that way with any new place or any new event.

Now I only feel the intensity of it if I get a particular program triggered. However, that does not mean that I feel comfortable around people and social events. I do…but I don’t. I have had to learn how to work my way around these kinds of things. Otherwise, I would be totally isolated.

One thing I do is try to get to events early. When I get there I try to connect with someone who is a part of the event and even offer to help in some way if I am up to it. If nothing else, I learn my way around and help to welcome others that come. By being one of the first ones there, I sort of make myself a part of what is going on. That does not solve it all, but it does make it a whole lot easier.

If I show up after a whole bunch of people are there…I feel lost. Unless I come with another person, or plan to meet another person there, I will typically feel very uncomfortable.  I will be uncertain where to sit…wondering if I am intruding upon some group of friends. I am very aware of cliques.  It seems like, in so many places, you have families and friends who have known one another for a long time. Where do I fit into that?

So…another thing I do is look for someone else who seems to be alone. The other person is usually grateful that I did and we end up having a rather enjoyable time together. I may never see that person again…but for those few hours we enjoyed one another’s company.  I have had many good laughs at tables where none of us women knew anyone else at the table.

I also try to smile a lot at people…just to see how they respond. They ones who light up at my smile, I keep an eye on. If it seems like they are open, I will walk up and talk to them…and find out if they are alone or not. That helps, too.

Sometimes, I just have to focus on what is going on and go through it. If programming is triggered, that is when it is the worst. I just have to accept that I am not in a frame of mind where I can truly trust anyone. I just need to smile, be pleasant and get through it.

Sometimes I experience an impending sense of doom that I cannot connect to any person or place or event. It is just a feeling I walk around with. That, too, makes it difficult in social situations. I keep wondering if I have somehow blown it…somehow said or done something wrong. I have learned that I just have to ride it out if I cannot find a legitimate reason for it.

So, I have all sorts of struggles with social settings…unless I am in the midst of giving it. Yet…I can speak and sing without too much difficulty. Or at least I once could. It has been a long time since I have done it. In fact, since I started realizing the truth about my history and my makeup I have not really pursued it. There is a difference between being up in front of a group and being down within the group. I had a therapist who was the same way. She could teach a class…no problem. But as a student…she was actually rather shy. It is a matter of being in my element.

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2 comments

  1. I know how awkward it is to walk into new situations, especially if it is a totally new place or event. I will sit near the door by myelf if there will be noone I know there. Most things aren’t completly new. I rarely go to the mall and go to the store at times I know it is likely not to be busy. No grocery shopping on Saturday! I don’t even think about being uncomfortable at the usual places like church or my neighborhood grocery store. But I started a new job and later this month I will go to a educational conference. I’m pretty well settled in at the new job but don’t look forward to the conference. Enough new places for a while yet.


    • I really have to prepare myself for new places and things. Yet…sometimes…I am totally confident. It depends upon what frame of mind I am in…and that is something I can never count upon.



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