You Don’t Owe Anyone An Interaction

Have you ever beat yourself up over not responding to every message you received in a day?

Me too. I know how it goes. On one hand, you’re tired and overwhelmed. But on the other hand, there are emails! Texts! Calls! All demanding a response!

If we check in with ourselves, we can sense which messages require our attention. However, we have trouble heeding that inner knowing because it conflicts with what we’ve been taught …

If someone writes, we must write back.

If someone starts talking, we must converse.

If someone moves in for a hug, we must embrace.

It doesn’t matter if we feel uncomfortable, exhausted, or just plain unwilling. If we don’t do these things, then we’re unkind and rude. Right?

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Do You Know What Keeps You From Thriving?

Have you ever had a friend make you a generous offer that you couldn’t accept … even though you wanted to?

Have you secretly believed that it’s okay to extend help, but that receiving it is taboo?

Well, I have. This past week, I’ve been dealing with some health issues, and when my friend Laura found out, she offered to bring me chicken soup.

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My first thought was that that sounded like exactly what I needed. My next thought, however, was that I shouldn’t accept.

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Set Down The Strings.

I have this counterproductive dance I do with my long-distance loved ones.

Here’s how it goes: when I don’t expect to see faraway friends and family anytime soon, I’m pretty good at keeping in touch. I make calls, write cards, and send care packages.

But when I do expect to see people soon – say, in the weeks just before a family vacation – I slack off. I don’t call, and I hold back from sharing. My justification for this is that I’m saving up the best discussion topics for in-person interaction.

Family

My sweet family, Thanksgiving 2015 – we’ve been taking group-shot selfies since way before they were cool.

Alas, this saving up mentality doesn’t deliver on its promises.

I don’t feel close to my loved ones when I’m hoarding information. Rather, I feel close to beloved people when I’m sharing my stories, trusting that there will always be more to tell.

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