Does anyone else find the whole flirting – connecting thing just a bit awkward? Here in the Southern United States, we tend to be friendly. Just like we sweeten our tea, we sweeten our language and everything around us. Lace, Doilies, Please and Thank you. And there’re a lot of friendly talks, even during a business transaction.
What I’ve noticed about myself.
When I’m at work, I can be friendly, joking around. It’s harder everywhere else. I know the people at work. I’m at home. What gives with that? Then I wonder am I confusing people by being too friendly?
When is it inappropriate?
What about the other side of the coin? Some people can’t turn the flirting off. They use their seduction to get what they want. They have affairs or sexually harass their coworkers. I once had a manager who creeped me out. He told my friend and me that we’d look cute in cheerleader costumes for Halloween.
What makes it flirting?
Here’s the problem. If you’re a bubbly personality, you might always be seen as flirting. I’ve had to deal with it. I smile, listen, laugh, and joke. I care. Real flirting is reaching out and connecting.
Some forms of flirting are more likely to be done in private, when no other observers are close enough to hear or see, suggests Elizabeth Bernstein, an award-winning columnist for the Wall Street Journal, in her article, “The New Rules of Flirting.” If someone asks a direct question such as, “Are you seeing anyone?” that person will likely ask that question privately. Beyond what a person says, a person may also communicate her attraction to you via a combination of vocal signals and body language. A seemingly simple line such as, “It’s nice meeting you,” can take on a romantically charged connotation if the speaker drags out the last word, while simultaneously raising her eyebrows and smiling — and if she hangs on to the handshake a few seconds longer.
Tell me what you think. Have you been accused of flirting? Or do you have trouble approaching people? It’s a cold cruel world sometimes and it shouldn’t be. Let’s try to make it a little nicer for each other if we can.
What am I good for? Do I need to be useful? Does my right to live depend on whether I’m useful? Isn’t that missing the point? I am alive. That’s reason enough. The flowers don’t ask if they have the right to exist, so neither will I. My movement, my actions, my everyday living carves my name on this earth. If I belong, it is only because I’ve decided that I belong. Somewhere in our lives we may have skulked to the sidelines. We’ve decided that someone else needs to give us permission to live. That person over there needs to pick us, to tell us to step forward, that we’ve been chosen. At that moment we will squeal and jump up and down, delighting and thrilling because someone found us worthy. Why do we wait? Why do we want someone other than ourselves to call on us? Is it because we don’t feel good enough? Or maybe it’s just because we didn’t think we could. Step up! Stand up and yell, “I want to play.” Run up and join in the game of life. If you want to do something, start doing it. You don’t need discovered. This is your world. You belong. Who you are now is perfect. You are chosen, you are called. By your very birth you are chosen.
For far too long we wait. We stand in line, never cut in front of others. Polite. In life it doesn’t work that way. Yes, kindergartners still need to raise their hands and stand in line, but you aren’t a child anymore. Stand up. Cut in line and do what needs to be done. If you have an idea that will change the world or even change your neighborhood, tell someone. Tell everyone. Write it, yell it, say it. No one is going to call on you because they have no idea you exist. People aren’t mind readers.
The moment you decide to step up won’t be a magical moment. There won’t be angels singing or violins playing. If we want music we will have to play it ourselves. One thing I can promise that seems magical to me, you will see life with different eyes. Life will become more steps to take rather than whether you are approved of or not. I cringe when I hear people stating, I don’t think they like me or she didn’t like what I said. Who cares? I have to focus on myself. Do I like what I am doing? Do I approve of what I am saying. Am I saying what I want to say?
I want to live true to myself. I want to say what resonates in me.
When walking up the steps of a staircase, each step is not wrong. Or a failure. Just as I step up-one step at a time-and then to the next step above, doesn’t make me a failure. No, I’m not at the destination, but I’m stepping up. Each step is necessary. Remove one step and it all falls down. It’s all important. We are all useful.
I want to curl up on the couch and be warm and snuggly. I’m on my couch now but I don’t feel warm and snuggly. You know that feeling when you were a child, home and sick. Not so sick you couldn’t watch TV, but too sick for school. I’d lay there with my quilt and pillow and doze off and on, not a care in the world. That’s what I mean by warm and snuggly.
There’s not as many times I let myself feel that way. If I take the time off to lay there then I feel I guilty about not completing a project like putting up some closet shelves. There’s always work needing done. I wish someone would give me permission to sit down. Would it be so wrong of me to give myself permission?
What makes us push so hard? We all feel it these days. The works never done. It seems there’s no dividing line between piling more things on our to-do list and the work we do for pay. It all just keeps growing and there’s no time to complete it. So we keep pushing along. Once the sun was our cue. When we couldn’t see the hand in front of our face we had to quit. Now we get out the spotlights and keep on plowing. No need to stop.
We have the good life when it comes to survival. We have food, clothing, running water, shelter and all of that. We have luxuries and entertainment. But there’s no scheduled time out. No choice. Must stop. One day rolls into another until we finally roll into our 6 foot deep plot. My personality demands a completion point. Even when I’m reading a book, I like to know how many pages are left before the end of the chapter. I look at the total minutes of the movies I’m watching. I mentally half and quarter the time. Strange? Bizarre for certain. I wonder if there are others out there that do something similar. And why do I need to do this? I like completion. When I finish something, I get that temporary mental feedback. That little burst of endorphin that says ‘good job’. We all have it in some degree. Maybe you’ve never noticed. Did you clean out the garage? Did you feel the need to tell someone? Facebook is great for this. We are such social beings that we need to tell everyone the most mundane actions of our lives. “Went to the store. Long lines at the gas station.” “Finally mowed the lawn.” And even though we know most of our friends don’t really care, we feel compelled to share. These harmless little actions just make my point. We completed a task. We checked it off of our list and want acknowledgement. No biggie.
I’ve heard that the chemical reinforcement in our neurological structure is the reason we make lists. Also it’s the reason we add to that list if we’ve completed a task that we didn’t list originally and check it off. We don’t want to miss anything. We are reinforcing our accomplishments. Yay for us! Pats on the back all around.
So my difficulty is, how do I allow myself to rest? Giving myself permission doesn’t come easily. One thing I’m learning is compassion for myself. I’ve started doing a compassion meditation (see below). Very simple. I sit and think forgiving and kind thoughts towards others, whether friends or strangers. I also include myself. I wish blessing and good things on others during this time. I acknowledge them as doing their best and allow them freedom themselves. I believe this makes me a softer person. And by becoming softer, I can allow myself to relax. It’s a start for me. For me this method is more effective than my earlier way, which was lists and lists and lists. As I said, they never seem to be finished. With this way I can relax even when things aren’t perfect. It’s taken me a long time to get where I am, and I know I have a long way to go. This is my journey.