Affirmation: I accept people as they are and celebrate their relationships with me.
I like people. When I’ve taken the Meyers Briggs Personality Test, I come out evenly between the introvert and the extrovert. The test doesn’t tell you how well you relate to people, but whether or not you get energy from being with people or being alone. The goal is to find a middle ground. For me, I need some of both and the challenge can be finding that balance.
I remember when I was in graduate school getting my Masters in Social Work. My very first course was taught by a dynamite young woman. She was so energetic and knowledgeable. It was a fun and interesting course. She came in one day and it was immediately noticeable to me that she was not her usual self. She went on to teach the class. It was a three hour class. As the class progressed, she seemed to be feeling better. Her energy level seemed to be rising and she seemed to be enjoying the process more and more. When the class ended, I took the time to chat with her and I asked her how she was feeling. She told me she felt great but that when she had first arrived for the class, she had a migraine headache. Teaching the class had helped her eliminate the headache.
I, too, am a migraine sufferer. I’ve had a few “doozies.” I can tell you, standing in front of a classroom for three hours and teaching would not be the way for me to eradicate a headache. I need medication and I need a dark, quiet room. I decided there and then, this woman was getting her energy in a very different way than I was. She’s probably a high level extrovert. Wouldn’t you agree?
I work very hard at staying connected to my family and friends. I know how important it is for my psychological and physical well being. It’s easier sometimes than others. I seem to be able to putter around the house forever. I love a day when I have nothing scheduled and I get to go about town doing my errands and perhaps stopping somewhere fun for a quiet lunch and an opportunity to people watch.
I remember a friend once told me she loved children, but only her own. Truly, I can relate to that. I too can feel the same way about people. And, sometimes I fall into the trap of finding fault with some friends. I try not to go there with family, but it happens there too. But, how does that improve the quality of my life? If I’m finding fault with them, what are they thinking about me, if they’re thinking anything at all? I want to simply enjoy my relationships, even those casual ones that come from interacting with people who are working to help me with all my different projects and errands. I want to like and to appreciate everyone. I know that isn’t feasible but I can make an effort.
One of my daily readings talks about “affability.” It says it’s not a trait most pay attention to but when it’s missing, it’s always noticeable. I like to be affable. I like to notice people, learn their names, and be kind to them, even if it’s only in a small interaction. I have found one way to appreciate people is to simply accept them for the way they are, not to judge, not to have expectations, especially expectations about which they have no knowledge. So, every day, I remind myself, I accept people as they are and celebrate their relationships with me. And, I hope that’s how they are thinking about me, if they’re thinking about me at all.