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 Dads Are So Important

dad, dads, children, daughter, family, try, best, emptiness, best, share, world, ready, late, to, forgive, past, missed, survive, survived, characters, never, best, lucky, why, safe, sacrifice, daddy, important, why, role model, male, gender, present, absentFamilies come in all shapes and sizes. Some have one dad, some have two and some have none. Friends can sometimes become family and family are not always necessarily friends. I love all families and know many people have grown up with a lot of love while others had to grow up without it and do it fast.

I love listening to different stories about people’s upbringings because it provides a sense of context for their character. Some people choose to own their past as part of their framework, while others denounce it altogether and continually fight it.

I own my past, and my past and present consist of having a dad. Not just your average dad, literally the best dad. I know a lot of people say this, but I know I am right. He was and is always present in my life.

He was that dad that always meddled. The dad that met with all my teachers. The dad that was never really asleep at night because he wanted to make sure his family was safe at all times. The dad who sacrificed his everything for his family to live well. The dad who shared nothing about his job while he was home. The dad that read me a book every single night. The dad that was (and is still) the great Saint Nick every Christmas.

It hurts me when I hear some people never had a dad. Maybe it’s not even a dad they needed, but overall support and unconditional love from a good role model.

I am all about gender equality, but there is something to be said about male role models in general. They provide a certain sense of security and love I can’t really compare to anything else.

Either way, I want to thank all those dads out there who did and continue to do their best. Those dads that work overtime just to keep their family comfortable. Those dads that save up all their retirement money to help their children buy a house. Those dads who do homework with their kids even after a rough day at work. Those dads that put gas in their kid’s car. Those dads who look at their children like they are their biggest accomplishments. Those dads who adopted other people’s children as their own. Those dads who thought they weren’t ready for fatherhood but later realized it was actually their life calling.

And to those Dads who couldn’t or just weren’t ready to be present for their children: It is never too late. No matter the age, your kids needs you. No matter the circumstance, your kids will forgive you.

What I really want to let you know is that you missed out. Yes, you missed out on watching your children flourish. And although this is true, just know that most of us do the best we can with what we know at the time. Even if you didn’t, I have talked to your children. The void is still there and is still waiting to be filled. Yes, you might have seemed essential to their lives at some point but they survived without you. Wouldn’t it be nice to get to know who they became without you?

I always had a dad so I can’t speak for every circumstance, but I do know that there is a large number of people who grew up without a dad or anything resembling one. This made many people stronger and others a lot weaker. Whatever the case, I really hope more dads try to reach out to their estranged children and never stop.

I got lucky, but I still feel for those that feel an emptiness within their hearts. I wish I could just share my dad with the entire world but that goes hand in hand with my desire for world peace. Dads are important, if you happen to have kids, try your best to be one. You don’t have to be the very best dad, but at least try to be there.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

To All The Harvey Weinsteins Of The World

Harvey Weinstein, sexual, assault, harassment, harass, abuse, physical, psychological, pain, universal, story, past, relationship,Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Léa Seydoux, Cara Delevingne, me too, heart, love, worthy, change, broken, friends, family, after, strong, strength, women, men, change, power, strength, strong, intelligence, years, allow, toxic, toxicity, you, withinI decided to post “Me Too” on my Facebook page the other day. I got a whopping two likes I believe. In comparison to my cat posts, it was surely not in contention for the most likes on my feed.

People were not very interested in knowing I have been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed in my past. The good thing is I am glad about this fact. My harassment goes far beyond a trivial Facebook post.

I can honestly say I really don’t care about this Harvey guy. I do care about what he represents. Well, of course, I do. I have been looked at for reasons other than my intelligence.

As a veteran of the used car business, it is safe to say this happened to me often. Wearing dresses shouldn’t ever be an issue. It always was and I never cared. Why? Because dresses are cute and comfortable! I always do my best to dress modestly but it doesn’t change the society we live in.

After thinking long and hard about this one man, I realize I was giving random people too much power regarding this issue. When I think Harvey Weinstein, my thoughts have definitely shifted.

I am now associating the name with an emotional and physical abuser of my past, or the many “Harvey Weinsteins of the World.”

Have you been in that horrible relationship?

The one that was clearly horrible and painful for you yet you stayed because you thought you could never start over? Did you date that one person people begged you to leave for one too many days or years?

I did.

Not only did I allow harassment in my life, I allowed it for years on end. I allowed psychological and physical abuse because I simply did not love myself enough. I did not love myself at all.

I am not afraid to speak my truth. I will share it with you if you ask. I don’t revisit it unless it is to help others. Just like all the “Me Too” posts, I hope someone is out there reading this and can relate. Not because it is something I wish upon anyone else, but because we are all in this together.

We can all learn and lean on each other as pain is universal.

Many of us have hit our rock bottoms in life. Many of us have allowed toxicity into our precious hearts. No matter what type of doctor or friend you tell, there will never really be a clear a cut reason for why we sometimes feel we don’t deserve the very best around us.

I allowed someone to break me. However, it was only temporary. That situation did not and does not define me. What defines me is what came after the fact.

I picked myself up and made myself better. With the help of friends and family, I rose up stronger than ever. I rebuilt my foundation with love and support and vowed to never allow such abuse within my life again.

If you have or are currently going through similar pain, remember, you are not alone. I have been there as have many before me. It doesn’t make you weak. It doesn’t make you not worthy. You have the power within to overcome this painful moment and demand change.

You are worthy of love. You are worthy of respect. You are worthy of valuable relationships. You are worthy of the very best treatment at all times.

I am glad to see change is happening before my eyes. And though I know it will take many years, I understand I can definitely spark a chain reaction with my story. A story that is too often told. A story that I wish was never written. A story that we can alter the ending of TOGETHER.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen