Sometimes we wait for someone else to invite us out for coffee, to notice we're having a down day, or to remember it's our birthday. At a party or conference or at the back of church on Sunday, we stand around hoping someone will come over and say hi to us. Because we feel too shy.
I used to do that, and I realized that, ofttimes, my supposed 'shyness' had a lot to do with my fear of rejection. I used to worry about being snubbed, so I was reluctant to risk going over and introducing myself.
As I say, that's how I used to be, until I started paying attention to the wise words that perfect love casts out fear. I began to overcome my own fear when I chose to forget about myself and focus on the needs of someone else.
I am convinced that one mustn't wait for people to reach out -- we must reach in. ~ Jan Karon
I like what Miss Jan Karon said... we shouldn't wait for someone else to reach out to us. If you want to be a part of the group, then why not look for someone else who looks as nervous as you feel. Why not focus on making her feel more comfortable. No doubt, you'll find yourself forgetting about your own discomfort.
You could open the conversation by expressing something complimentary you've noticed about her or what she's wearing. Watch it change the atmosphere. The fear leaves, the rejection leaves, you begin to relax as you both experience that beautiful sense of belonging.
We'll never be on the outside looking in when we are the ones opening the circle to welcome someone new into our lives. A circle that does not exclude, but is ever widening to enfold a new colleague, neighbour, co-worker, or fellow conference attender.
When I started taking the initiative to reach out, I was amazed at how many new friends were gathering around me. I love it. Talk about it changing my life for the better....and the more beautiful.
Here's to ever widening circles of friends!
Originally posted at Perfectly Pink!