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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Pros and Cons (08/14/14)

TITLE: Social ills
By Sarah Fehr


Some of us are more hesitant to navigate the capricious rapids of "building relationships" than others. Me, I'm one of those introverts who tends to hyperventilate at the thought of generating conversation with a stranger. Incidentally, I keep a brown paper bag, worn by occasional use, tucked in the depths of my voluminous purse. It has answered the call of duty on several occasions, providing a pleasing alternative to a lengthy ER visit.
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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This article has been read 230 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 08/21/14
Loved the reality "social moments"...especially the "head dodge"

Great message wrapped up in this entry. Well done.

God bless~
Rhonda Burns08/21/14
This was great. So many people will relate to this. I loved how you ended it with a comparison to a relationship with God. Well done.
Larry Whittington08/21/14
We need to be careful how we see ourselves because it is God who made us the way we are. Don't complain to God about how me made us.

Moses almost complained himself out of the job of leading the Israelites out of Egypt. he was not a social person but when the time was right, God used him.

Being too social may gain us the wrong friends.

I thought you expressed some of your thoughts and feeling well.
Rachel Barrett 08/25/14
Nice! That made me chuckle throughout (hoping humor was what you were aiming for...) as I can identify with many of the awkward moments. And I'm not usually witty enough to rescue them. :P

That was a great message wrapped up in a lively and strong piece of writing. I liked it a lot.
Sheldon Bass 08/26/14
I can relate in some ways, though I'm extrovertly over zealous at times. Comes from lots of travel, meeting new people all the time I suppose.

You did a good job of describing the social foibles and uncertainties, resulting in the cons of relationships. And I had to chuckle in a place or two. Good job, keep it up!
C D Swanson 08/28/14

God bless~
C D Swanson 08/28/14

God bless~
Danielle King 08/28/14
Great message. Congratulations on your win.
Bea Edwards 08/31/14
You gave a lighthearted and humorous slant to a very real dilemma. Nicely done. Congrats!