On our walks, sir Oliver and I, meet new people. Some walk bye, some say hello and others take a moment and chitchat. Some weeks ago we met a lady with a Maltese dog. Our dogs seem to like each other, up to a point where they calmly sniffed each others scent without being too much obsessed with the sniffing. Sir Oliver doesn’t like those small dogs that only want to sniff his butt over and over again, and lately he is capable of making them aware of the fact that they annoy him.
As said, sir Oliver and Boris, were able to be together for a moment in peace. At first I was occupied with the way the dogs were interacting and didn’t fully register what was happening on a human/mind level. Then I noticed that the lady was almost constantly laughing, and I mean not just giggling, no just full out laughing. I was a bit puzzled, since what I said was not so much funny, so why was she laughing so much?
After meeting this lady twice, my daughter said: ” she might be feeling socially awkward”. And all I had been occupied with was: why is she laughing, what am I doing wrong, is she laughing at me, what is wrong here? So when my daughter talked about the lady might be insecure and socially awkward, I of course understood and knew that was the case, yet I had taken it personal and was searching within my mind why she did this to me. My question should have been: what is the matter with me?
It had really been irritating me that this lady was constantly laughing, at a certain point I only heard her laughing. I was obsessed with focussing on her laughing, so what was I covering up here? When I came home I made a first commitment of breathing through the lady’s laughing the next time we would meet, getting my focus off the laughing. I then gave myself a little task for the next time we would meet, I was going to get to know this lady and her dog.
The next time I met her I let her speak about her dog, which she got from a shelter, and the dog had an abusive past as well. While listening to her story, I could see she was less laughing and more giggling now. Sir Oliver and Boris were still the same way with each other, and getting into a ritual of sniffing and saying hello to each other.
Ok, so I had not entirely focussed on the laughing of this lady and I truly did an attempt to get to know her and her dog. The lady got a face now, so to speak, and she was not only the laughing lady to me anymore. I also liked the few minutes of talking to her when we met.
Then I noticed that my mind had found other things to focus on. Now when talking to her I saw how bad her teeth were and how unkept her hair was. I was obviously not here, I was everywhere else, except for here. Yet still enjoying meeting her now and then when our walks/paths crossed.
The other day, sir Oliver and I, saw the lady and Boris walking ahead of us. Sir Oliver started almost running, wanting to see and sniff Boris and I would have enjoyed a little chat as well. Yet, the lady didn’t see us and I didn’t want to yell and shout at her. So we saw them, but they didn’t see us and our paths parted. In that moment it didn’t feel cool, I felt rejected, while I could perfectly well see that the lady had not seen us.
It was time, I had to look into this point, why was I trying to find flaws in the other and why was I feeling rejected? And then I could see the sore spot. There is this pattern going on in my life where I move a lot and meet a lot of new people. Most people live in my new environment already their whole life, have their friend groups and do not feel they lack anything, let alone a friend or friendship. So I have been feeling like the odd one out for many years, which then became a pattern of fearing to become the third wheel.
What I had been doing with the laughing lady was already finding ways why I would not want to be socially engaging with her. Just like with relationships, breaking up before the other might break up with us. I had activated a defense mechanism to not get hurt, yet I was setting myself up for disaster. And I ended up being socially awkward, not wanting to get too close out of the fear of getting rejected.
So when I could see that I was the one not accepting me and therefore reflecting it on to this lady, finding flaws and become obsessed with it, I had to change my stance completely. Meeting people is meeting people and is not yet a relationship as in friendship. I had to slow down big time, in my mind I was already in a friendship and breaking up almost simultaneous with this lady. That’s fast living!
Now I take it in the moment and enjoy the moment of human contact without any expectations what so ever. Because why missing out on the good part when it is presented and only spend time up there in my head, cooking up the worst case scenario of something that is not even here? Making friends is something that happens or not, making friends with myself is something I can direct, so that’s what I will do, and enjoy others that cross my and sir Oliver’s path.