Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Pros and Cons (08/14/14)
TITLE: Social ills
By Sarah Fehr
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I think we all enjoy the ultimate end of putting effort into a relationship. The support, the emotional intimacy, and the understanding ear are invaluable - indeed imperative - to maintaining mental health. These "pros" weigh heavily on the scales of risk and reward. However, I would submit to you that there is a very real danger of encountering graceless and uncomfortable bumps along the way. Let's examine some of those small yet significant "cons" to relationship-building:
1.) Momentary lapses in conversation. These terrifying moments of deafening silence tend to occur in transitioning from one topic to another. There are several issues to be addressed at these junctures including but not limited to a)searching for a safe place to rest the eyes, b) judging whether or not to pick up the now-loose thread of conversation, and c) finding a delicate balance between throat-clearing, coughing, and humming.
2.) Botched attempts to embrace. These are due to a failure to correctly predict the direction your hugging partner's head will move. The problem is only exacerbated when you quickly switch sides, because generally your hugging partner will arrive at the same conclusion and simultaneously change the direction in which he dodges his head. If you're witty you can gloss over the moment with a smooth comment like, "Hey, want to dance?" If you are less witty you might say something like "oops."
3.) Foiled hand shakes. This is really a corollary to number two. You stick out your palm for a hearty handshake when your entire arm and torso becomes engulfed in an embrace from your hug/shaking partner. And vice versa. As in number one, attempts to rectify the predicament only lead to further limb entanglement.
Although small, theses "cons" add up quickly, and surprisingly, they have the power to keep me from entering into closer relationships. But happily, the analysis of the rough road of building relationships has reminded me to prize the ones that have been successful despite the odds along the way. And most importantly, it reminds me that one of the fantastic things about God is that he won't allow my inferior social skills to get in the way of knowing me. I can dodge, duck, and retreat all day, but he's not going anywhere. Lapses in conversation don't bother him in the least, and furthermore, it is thoroughly impossible to muck up a hug!
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