Connect

SOMETIMES I feel like I don’t connect well with other people in person. Like somehow there is a wall between me and them. Yesterday I interviewed a man about auctioneering so we talked for 20 minutes and today I went to the cattle market to get some pictures of people auctioning, well cattle. He came over and said, ‘hi Chris, how you going?’ And he was warm and friendly with positive body language. I thought, somewhere below the conscious level, ‘hmm he’s okay with me’.  But I couldn’t think, still subconsciously, of what to say or do that would communicate that I was positive about him as well. So I mumbled a question I forgot from yesterday and felt like a dweeb.

 

Later I was in the office at my computer and my editor was at his computer about seven metres away and no one else was in that workspace. He says to me, ‘I’m having real trouble working this afternoon’. And I was blank as how to respond. My editor is one of t-h-o-s-e guys. Warm, funny, relaxed, confident and manly. He has his faults as well, obviously. Often he leaves me feeling blank or saying something dweebish.  

 

Now you probably see that when I said other people the only examples I’ve provided are a certain type of manly person though it does happen with females as well. But if I’m in a good mood and happen to be with a certain type of moderately outgoing female I can – if I do say so myself – be charming and talkative and so on. Even then though, I still have problems sealing the deal and moving beyond superficial, frothy conversation into deeper friendship stuff.

 

So anyway I’ve read that friendships with straight men are the way to go to help deal with SSA/GDD/SGS/TYN, but I have trouble getting past step one: reciprocation. Any tips?

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3 thoughts on “Connect

  1. From someone who has several straight friends who know, you just have to get over that fear and anxiety and tell them. I know that’s kinda not great advice, but that’s what I had to do. I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried to reach out. I didn’t tell them immediately obviously, I wanted to see where we were as friends before telling them, but I just had to suck it up and tell them. They’ve all been very supportive of me though. It’s so awesome to feel accepted by straight men especially after they know of your struggles.

  2. Partly agree with the previous comment, but obviously you don’t want to tell every straight guy you meet.  Some of it comes through practice, from not retreating from those encounters with straight guys who don’t struggle.  You may not always have something to chip in to the conversation, but show interest, be a good listener.  I rarely have much to interject into the latest sports conversation at meetings or wherever, but usually the other guy just likes to talk and be heard, to have someone listen to his opinions.  It does take practice and sometimes just being out of our comfort zones.  But then, too, having some straight Christian friends who know about your struggle can definitely help.  They are good to help include you, to sometimes be sensitive to issues you struggle with without coddling us, and to just be a model of godly masculinity.

  3. Often times I find in myself and in others that connecting and going deeper with others can often be an identity problem we have about ourselves.  The real issue is we aren’t comfortable with who we are either in that we have no confidence and/or we are just not aware of who we really are.  This is an important step in growing into a mature adult and Christian.  Especially because of my struggles with homosexuality I have let the issue define so much of me and even though for years I have understood the intellectual problem of that kind of identity it has and still is taking me a long time and hard work to flesh out who I them am.  I am not man, male crafted and made in the image and likeness of God.  The Word of God brought me into being as male and continues to call out to me to become what I already am.  I know who I am in the image of our heavenly Father through Christ and in the Holy Spirit, this is the only true identity we have because it is from our Creator.  Seek him and learn the “art of losing yourself in him” and take yourself “to the cross where you lay “me” down.”  The cross is also a place of identity giving because it is where we lay down our false identities to open ourselves up to God’s true identity he gave to us before one of our days came to be.  “Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are astumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, butthe things of men.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:23-25, NIV)As St.Francis of Assisi said “it is in giving that we receive.”  In some sense this is true with our relational self.  If we don’t know who we really are how can we give ourselves?  Of course, like Carleton said we don’t always give our wholes selves out to everyone, we don’t give pearls to swine.  It is further complicated by our sexual confusion as people who struggle with homosexuality or same-sex attractions.  But, we can’t think for a second that people who do not struggle with homosexuality don’t have that same sexual confusion.  Our sexuality is deeply related to our relationality as humans but even more the prophetic image of our sexuality as man, male and female (in both marriage and as brothers and sisters in a world wide humanity), is the most definitive revelation of God in nature so of course Satan wants to twist, jade and pervert every aspect of it, both marriage, family and all positive relationships between man of friednship and brotherhood.  He hates God and us.  The good news is he was defeated at the same place where we come to find our true identity restored, the cross!  The road may not be easy brother, but “we share in his sufferings so that we may also share in his glory.”Peace be upon you in the name of the Lord Jesus Chris,brother Spencer

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