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

The One Thing You Can Never Get Back Once It’s Gone

look, looking, lost, lose, get, back, one, thing, can't, once, gone, reputation, credibility, trust, circle, communication, people, style, lie, lies, liar, you, believe, I am at that point in my life where I have learned a lot about people and how to communicate with them. It is important to have the right tone with the right people and always adjust your style depending on the situation and audience.

It’s always fun to meet new people and learn how they work. Some people respond better to humor, while others prefer a more direct form of communication. I have even met some people who prefer to talk about everything in the context of dating.

Communication and credibility are key when establishing new relationships and nurturing old ones. Credibility can be established through means of positive and effective communication.

Credibility is very important in life and losing credibility can be life altering.  Once people cannot trust you, it’s over. It can forever damage your reputation. And once that is damaged, good luck ever really repairing it.

Once your coined a liar, you can’t apologize and say you have changed and expect the world to trust you again. I mean, you can, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily will. People will always have that doubt that you are not being truthful.

I have encountered many people who just like to lie. Whether it’s about a past experience that didn’t happen or a movie they never watched, they lie through their teeth at all costs.

I am not sure if it is a defense mechanism they acquired while growing up, or something else, but these people are to never be trusted.

I even worked very close with someone who turned out to be the liar of all liars. They lied about everything just to get a reaction out of me. They lent advice that was only to sabotage me, and it wasn’t until I verified one of their white lies that I realized this person never speaks their truth. It was unfortunate but true.

The moment I realized this person was King Liar, was the moment I stopped sharing anything worth sharing with them. I no longer confided in them and I found myself constantly looking over my shoulder in their presence.

It affected me. I must admit this. Did I let it affect me more than a day? No. I began to find it comical and made sure to never share anything of depth with that lying person again.

So, what’s the point of my long rant? A good reputation is the one thing you can never get back. Once it is gone, it is gone.

Consistency is key in all that you do and consistently lying will only get people to consistently not trust you. If they cannot trust you, you lose all credibility and people will refuse to be around you or have you be a part of any their circles.

Be careful with what you say, don’t say, and wish you could say. Sometimes less is more. Lies can break you, your reputation, and those who once believed in you.  And once you break something or someone, it can’t easily be put back together. Take care of what you have. Take care of you. Take care of your reputation.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

Why It’s My Birthday and I Don’t Even Care

birthday, dont, care, why, spoiled, brat, celebrate, party, cry, positive, bittersweet, died, sad, experience, life, 30, almost 30, opportuity, chang, grow up, old, lifeEvery year since I can remember I have celebrated the entire month of September. Why? Because it’s my birthday month, duh. It’s kind of big deal I was born and an even bigger deal that I am still alive.

I have always enjoyed lavish gifts, outings, and parties as part of the celebration of my birth.

Last year was different. I took the day off work and just hung out with myself. It was spectacular, to say the least. I can honestly say it was the best birthday I have ever had. Call me a loner if you will but a birthday spent alone was far from lonely for me.

I grew up always having horrible birthday parties that I would always end up crying at. Later in life, I even had a birthday party where I nearly died (no really). I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and that’s about all I have to say about that one. Well, it’s technically all I can remember about that one…

Maybe I have just always set myself up for disaster. It could be that I have always been a brat and wanted things a certain way only to be disappointed at any signs of the “special” day being less than perfect.

Yea, whatever the reason, my birthdays have always had a lot of build up as well as a lot of pain.

How could this spoiled little San Diego girl be so sad on her birthdays? The world may never know. One thing I do know is that I don’t even care that today is my birthday.

I didn’t count down the days like I usually do. There were no crazy birthday party invitations that were sealed and/or sent. I was set on spending another birthday like I did last year, alone and extremely content.

I guess this year has been bittersweet. I had a lot of downs this year that left me almost believing in nothing. I had moments where my positivity played a dismal effect instead. Not only that but I am getting reallllllly close to 30.

Am I who I thought I would be by 30? Not. Even. Close.

So this year I have just decided not to care. It’s just another day. It’s just another year. Right?

These were my thoughts until I had a conversation with an angel yesterday. The angel told me that today is definitely a day to celebrate. They told me I have to celebrate that I have the opportunity to live, embrace and experience another year of life. They told me that living almost 30 years is a blessing, not a curse.

The angel also told me that I have many opportunities in front of me and that I should seize them. They told me to never stop believing in myself.

The angel heard the doubt and anguish in my voice at the mention of my 20-something birthday. The angel knew I needed to hear a different perspective. I am glad I listened.

I am thankful for all the angels that surround me each day. They often know me more than I even know myself.

So I guess I do care (a little) that it’s my birthday. More importantly, I think my thoughts have shifted from being completely selfish to being selfless so, naturally, my birthday seems a little less important this year.

This year, my family made birthday plans without me even asking. My friends have looked more forward to my day than I have. What a blessing this feeling is-to feel loved, to feel wanted, to feel appreciated, to feel needed.

I have made an impact in the lives of those that matter and that alone is the best birthday gift I have ever received.

No wonder I was so disappointed on all my other birthdays, my objectives were simply misguided. Birthdays are not about creating one special day, but rather creating one special life.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen