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Can I help? - Phil's Rambling Rants
September 29th, 2005
03:30 pm

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Can I help?
I just posted this comment in another person's journal, someone I admire deeply.  I wanted to save a copy of it here for my own memory, and to share it with other people, because, while I wrote this for that person specifically, a lot of what I said about myself applies to my relationships with my other friends and people who would be my friends if I could connect with them.

I am terrible at forming connections with people. I simply don't perceive a lot of the social dynamics and non-verbal cues that apparently most people understand naturally. Combine this with a very deep fear of butting in where I'm not wanted, and you have the recipe for someone who is too slow and clumsy and inhibited to be able to reach out before the moment for reaching out has passed. That would be me.

Over the last however-long-it's been since I've been reading your journal, I've built up a feeling of connection with you, of caring about you, that's greater than that I have for all but a small handful of people in the world, in spite of the fact that we've only met briefly and pretty casually in real life.

You do more stuff in your life than anyone else I know, and you write about it so brilliantly that all of it seems shiny and wonderful. It seems like it would take three busy people just to have all your experiences, and at least another two to write about them in your journal. Yet, on top of that, you write brilliant poetry and fascinating bits of fiction by the reams in your journal and are actively at work on several novels.

You do more to bring joy into the world than anyone I know of or can imagine, much less anyone I know. So, if there's anything I can do to bring some joy into your world, please let me know. You'll have to ask, because I'm too oblivious to notice on my own and too scared to volunteer. I may not be able to help -- I'm not the kind of person who can do anything at all just by wanting to enough; I can only do what I can do -- but I'd love to try.

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From:markiv1111
Date:September 29th, 2005 08:41 pm (UTC)

Your post

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Phil, this is a wonderful post to someone who is quite likely an amazing human being. Maybe someday I will find out who this person is. Meanwhile -- I get it about the difficulty in becoming friends, and the clumsiness. I have a lot of this too -- maybe a bit more subtle in that a lot of people perceive me as being extroverted and perhaps likely to have a lot of friends, whereas in real life I actually don't, and that is why LJ has provided such a huge connection for me. Meanwhile, you are somebody I am always happy to see, which makes you more my friend than 99% plus of the world. And now I'm starting to understand you a whole lot better, and it is a good thing that I do. Stay in touch.

Nate
From:exapno
Date:September 29th, 2005 09:23 pm (UTC)
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wow :) i still haven't figured out how to format the words i'd like to say to her, but this sums much of it up wonderfully :)

Meanwhile, i very much understand the connection issues....i tend to miss an awful lot of those hints and cues myself, often because i'm busy bashing my way through things. Many instances of not doing something from that fear of butting in where i'm not wanted, and then being told "you should have you should have" created a tendancy to over-compensate at times. Other times i just sit back and kick myself for missing the chance...which may be better than kicking myself for pushing away/scaring off the chance i guess *shrug*
Anyway - thank you for sharing this piece of you :) And for tolerating the brashness until it settled down :) You have brought much joy into _my_ world and helped in many ways :) So thank you for reaching out and offering a connection :)
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From:pir_anha
Date:September 30th, 2005 12:30 am (UTC)
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totally awesome comment.
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From:poltr1
Date:September 30th, 2005 03:34 am (UTC)
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I saw your comment in the aforementioned other person's LJ, so I know who you're referring to.

You're not alone in regards to forming social bonds. It's difficult for me as well. I also find it easier to communicate in email than in-person some times. But as I grow and develop, I become more comfortable sharing things in person.

Conventions are busy places, and there isn't a lot of opportunity for people to get some "face time" in. I remember one con where I sat in a hallway, watching people go by, and nearly everyone was so focused on where they where going that they didn't see me in their periphery. In short, it's not a great place to socialize, unless it's a relaxacon.
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