Why Being Social Sucks

social, socialize, sociaizing, network, networking,talk, share, awkward, connect, work, effort, dream, anxiety, smile, people, connect, connections, friends, different, discomfort, uncomfortable, bubble, antisocial, wrong, key, life, job, jobs, listen,open, heart, mark, talk, strangers, views, story, stories, work, smile, power, sucks, why,benefit, possibilities, benefits, I have never really been a social butterfly. I grew up an only child so the need to share was never present. Well, at least not until my sister was born. Even then, I don’t think I ever really grasped how to be or how to share anything with other people.

As I grew older, I was the awkwardly tall girl. I always felt like I was very different so I did everything in my power to not participate in events. I had my circle of friends somehow but I usually ended up being the odd one out.

I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. Socializing is the key to life. It can lead to networking, which is really just socializing with a purpose. It is how people land jobs they might have never even dreamed of. It is how you connect with people and reassure yourself that you’re never alone.

Once it was time for college, I decided to stay just as antisocial as before. This lead to never networking with the right people nor opening the right doors for myself.

I missed the mark. I often retreated to a lonely place. This created a lot of anxiety that was very difficult to shake in my later years. Now that I am in my late 20s, I realize I had it wrong all along.

But why did I refuse to be social all the years?

For one, being social requires sharing. You have to give to get. In order for people to be interested in you, you must share bits and pieces of your own life to gain rapport. And who likes to put in work? I never did.

Chances are, if you share something with someone, they will share something with you. This happens because sharing conveys vulnerability which can entice people to open up more as a result.

Two, being social requires listening. Who likes to listen? Only the smartest of people. I was so self-absorbed in my own little world to ever notice that other people’s views and stories are completely relevant and valuable.

Listening more and talking less can teach anyone things they maybe never knew or things they never thought they ever needed to know.

Three, being social requires a certain level of discomfort. Chitchatting with strangers is never going to be the most comfortable thing in the world. But chances are, the other person is are worried about what they’re going to say next than whatever is coming out of your mouth or how it sounds.

Once you get over that first stage of awkwardness, socializing stops being awkward and starts being constructive.

In retrospect, how lazy could one girl be? Socializing really requires little effort and a bit of discomfort. There should really be mandatory courses in school to help students understand the value and need for socializing.

Yes, being social takes some work. And yes, it requires some discomfort. It also provides benefits we sometimes fail to see because we are too busy living in our “bubbles.”

Now that I am older, I realize that I have to make an effort to socialize. A greater effort than ever before because I am no longer in school surrounded by hundreds or thousands of people on a daily basis.

But guess what? I am willing put in the effort now. It’s never too late, right?

The last few months I have made it my mission to be social. I have gone to events I would usually turn my back to and I have had a hell of a time doing it. Sure, I don’t need more friends, but it doesn’t hurt to make them. And if you can make a few more people smile during your lifetime, you can leave a greater mark than ever.

In the end, socializing is networking, and networking is power. Making connections early in life can really help you navigate the world later in life. Although the benefits of socializing/networking are not always obvious and/or immediate, the possibilities are endless once you decide to open up to others.

Choose to share. Choose to socialize. Choose to open your heart.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

Why You Don’t Have To Like Me

like, me, why, mean, nice, respect, heart, humanity, demand, love, accept, journey, advice, life, success, relationships, grow, growth, 20s, 30s, learn, change,When I was younger, I always wanted to fit in. Like most other kids, I wanted to be accepted and liked. I wanted to have cool friends that I could always hang out with.

I never really fit in anywhere. My culturally diverse background left me neither here nor there. I was never white enough or Mexican enough. I still tried to fit in, though.

When I got to high school, I said F*** it. I am who I am, if people don’t like it then that’s too bad. So I became a mean girl. Why?  Well, because I just could.

I had awesome friends but I was never too awesome myself. I didn’t care about anything or anyone. I was bitter and angry at the world and my only friend was oftentimes music. Lyrics got me. Lyrics accepted me.

I learned to find the balance between being too nice and being too mean somewhere in my 20s. I am who I am. I am sarcastic but have learned to be sweeter. I am rude but have learned to be well-mannered, well, most of the time anyway.

Now that I am closer to 30 than I am to 20 I realize no one has to like me. Those that matter are simply three people, mom, dad and my sister. They’ll forever love me unconditionally. I can count my friends on one hand and life is awesome this way.

If you don’t know me yet, you don’t have to like me. I am very opinionated so I would honestly be surprised if you did learn to like me. I have a pure heart but it’s often very guarded. And with good reason. Like many people, I have been broken and I have put myself back together.

I don’t demand you like me but I do demand respect. I respect all people who have love in their hearts. Even if it is hidden, I respect you. I respect all people who have talent and who have a set of strong values like integrity. I even respect people who don’t know any better because they might be a product of circumstance.

If you and you hate my guts, that’s fine. Just show me respect to my face. Maybe you don’t like what I say or how I do, but what better reason to respect others than for their differences.

I have had many situations where I judge books by their covers. I mean, haven’t we all? I then find the humanity within their hearts and forget all ill-conceived notions.

I believe in mutual respect among all mankind. We are on a certain journey together and most of us are simply trying to make the best out of this fleeting moment we call life.

We don’t have to agree or understand those around us but I do think it is necessary to respect. Respect beliefs, respect views, respect space, respect possessions, respect journeys, respect cultures, respect differences. We don’t have to be best friends with our neighbors but mutual respect goes a very long way.

Choose love. Choose acceptance. Choose respect.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

Why My 20s Are The Best And Worst Years Of My Life

best, fast, brain, 25, time, irony, naive,worst, 20, 30, 20s, 30s, life, grow, learn, limits, death, rock, bottom, test, age, time, lessons, know, knew, human, love, integrity, wrong, young, heart, I remember being 16. I remember being 11. Anything before that is a complete blur. And after 16, I just remember turning 20. At 20, I knew it all. I was invincible. I was all that and so much more. If someone called, I never answered. If someone wanted to tell me otherwise, I never listened.

21 was always near death. I was testing every and any limit. How much alcohol could my body take? How fast could my car go? How much abuse could my heart handle?

Thinking back, my early 20s were pretty horrific. If pain is glory, then my early 20s were pretty glorious. I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be. I had a plan I thought would one day magically come together but I was doing everything to keep that from happening. Ironic, huh?

My early 20s were full of irony. I was full of naivety.

At 21, I hit my rock bottom. By 22, I was trying to piece my life back together. I was more lost than I had ever been before. I wanted to meet rejects like me so I did. I hung out with them night and day and thought I was just like them. I was living a double-life as if I had learned absolutely nothing from my troubled past.

By 23, I was still stumbling. I kept falling like baby Bambi.

They say by 25 your brain stops developing and your values become set in stone. It’s true, by 25, I wanted life to hurry the f up. I was tired of making mistakes and decided it was time to settle down. My mind and body felt older than they ever had before. By this point, I knew who I was. I had become a person filled with love, happiness, and integrity.

How did that happen? From 23 to 25 I had grown up. I was still working at my kid job, but there I was, putting in my time and dedication. I learned that inconsistency was a thing of my past and that if you ever want to be respected you must be consistent in everything that you do.

One thing is for sure, I have never loved myself as much as I do today. I am now officially in my late 20s and so proud of my journey. I am proud of every one of my scars. I am proud of all the things I didn’t know that I eventually learned. I am looking forward to learning so much more, about not only myself but humanity in general.

My 20s have been turbulent, to say the least. They have been more beautiful than I ever thought they could be. They have taught me who I am and who I never want to be. They have shown me I am valuable, special and loved.

Above all, they have proved to me that I still have so much more to learn. And so much more to see, feel and listen to. And while I might think I have it all figured out now, I am sure my 30s will prove me to be extremely wrong.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen