Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It Is So Easy

Extroversion is something prized in society. Every mom seemingly knows and wants their child be be outgoing, easily making friends, interacting happily with other kids, and having a personality that is compelling, fun and contagious.

Introversion is something to be remedied. It is not a admirable trait. We moms want our kids to have the best in life, to be the best they can be and have every advantage. That means encouraging them to be outgoing.

I do this too. What mom doesn't want their child to have confidence and feel like they can interact with this world and be well received and heard?

I have 3 kids. 2 are extroverts, making friends so very easily. My youngest goes to a playground and will instantly make friends with another child. There is not waiting for the other to make the first move; no looking for verbal or other cues to see if the other wants to be friends. No doubt. It is almost a given: If I ask someone to be my friend, we'll be friends and play and have a great time.

Usually it goes something like this: Hi. Want to be friends? Lets go play! And the other nearly always replies yes and off they go. (and usually Kate comes back to me asking if she can invite her newly acquired friend to her birthday which is 9 months away)

Why is it so easy for children? Why do they have no fear, not even a thought that someone wouldn't want to be their friend? Nothing but a desire to play with another person. Pure. Straightforward. Confident.

I find myself at times trying to create boundaries, because my youngest will spend all day with her new friend and their family, expecting all the rights of an old friend of the family. (food, conversation) I don't want to offend, burden, or bother anyone.

I'm learning that friendships are sticky and they can be a bother, an inconvenience, a bit. Is it possible to have a good friendship without some type of inconvenience? Yet feel safe in it., already knowing the outcome. Knowing that whatever it is will be worked out.

I hate being a inconvenience. I'd rather strive to do everything perfectly, as to not offend, disappoint or upset another.

Of course, for my extroverted daughter, these park friendships are pretty easy. They last only a few hours and though they'd love to meet again and play and give the friendship an opportunity to blossom, most times we go our separate ways and will never see that family again. In a way, it makes the friendship easier and less risky, but does it make it sweeter?

I'm an unfortunate introvert. I find new situations and friendships difficult and tedious, not exciting and fun. To me, a friendship is only sweet after it has been tested. Still, I'd love to be like my daughter; without any hesitation that someone would like to be my friend and all I have to do is ask and be kind.

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