I’ve never been a social butterfly. Not even close.
As a child, I was very shy and timid, and a lot of that shyness and timidity stuck with me as I got older.
I developed the ability to operate in a social setting out of necessity—I had to work with people, for one thing.
But I still feel uncomfortable in groups of people, especially if I don’t know anyone in the group very well.
My therapist thinks I have some social anxiety, and I agree that I at least have the tendency to feel anxious in social situations.
One place I do feel relatively comfortable with groups of people is when I take a class of some sort, usually through my church.
I love to read, I love to learn, and I love listening to other people’s ideas. And a classroom is one place where it’s easier for me to express my ideas.
I haven’t taken a class in a about a year, but I recently signed up to take not one, but two classes. I am taking them for the learning, but also for the social aspect of it. I need to “get out” more and be around people and not stick so close to home. While Larry won’t be taking the classes with me, he’s supportive of me taking them.
One class is held during the normal Sunday school class time on Sunday morning. I haven’t found a regular class I felt very comfortable in, so when I learned that a new discussion group was forming, I was interested.
We met for the first time this morning. All the members are interested in learning and growing spiritually, and I look forward to open and honest discussions.
I was also glad to hear one participant say that one of the goals for the class for her was to get to know the other group members better.
The first book we’ll be studying is A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith, by Brian D. McLaren.
I went to the store today and bought a new notebook especially for the class. Did I mention that I love school and office supplies? Or that I’m a nerd?
The second class I signed up for is on Holy Communion and its meaning in the United Methodist Church and personally. A member of the church who took a similar class last year said it changed the way he viewed Communion from something he just did as part of the service to something more meaningful.
Ever the student, I did my reading for class ahead of time and can’t wait to get started with the discussions and learning.
That class meets Monday evenings, and I’ll attend my first one tonight.
Taking two classes at church still doesn’t qualify me as a social butterfly (something I’ll never be or desire to be), but it’s my way of being around people and socializing while also learning.
Do you have to force yourself sometimes to be social, to be around people? What ways of socializing work best for you?