Vulnerability Is Essential for Connection, It Does Come With A Cost

At the beginning of quarantine rules, there were jokes made about it being an introverts time to shine. As the restrictions carried on, it all became less funny. Even the introverts recognized their need for connection with people.

Social media is a two edges sword. Bringing people together, but bringing people into our lives that probably wouldn’t be there otherwise. When it turns out we really don’t enjoy the company on these people, a way must be found to back out of the relationship.
In a virtual world, it is really easy to unfriend. The person who has been unfriended is left to figure out why.
In the real world, it is common for people to just not return calls or to avoid seeing some one.
Either way, someone is left with hurt feelings.
The inclination is to stop putting one’s self out there at all. Leaving people hurt and lonely.

So where is the middle ground?

Associate is a term seldom heard any more.
These are people who we are cordial with, may socialize with, perhaps belong to a group together; but are not close. We may tell them about the big life events, like a birth or death, but we won’t discuss why we made a personal life choice.
This is an important classification of people. It establishes clear boundaries in the relationship. Not until we know these people better through social settings do we decide to invite them into a friendship.
In this situation, social media becomes a useful tool. Seeing where people stand on issues important to us, helps us draw lines without confrontation.
We expect less from associates. They aren’t expected to understand why we make the choices we do, to support our efforts, or agree with our view point.
They are fine people, just not our people.
Meeting new people is fun. But being vulnerable has a price. Some times it will be repaid, often it won’t, and occasionally it will be over drawn. When it is repaid, it is the most wonderful feeling. Be careful not to go to the other extreme, having no connection at all. Embrace the middle ground.


Aquintance: Someone you interact with occasionally for business or in social circles.
Associate: Someone you interact with on a recurring group or social bases.
Friend: Someone you interact with on a personal, confessional level; on a frequent bases

By Laura

Laura S. Tarasoff is poet, writer, explorer, and believer in people. Laura lives on Whidbey Island, Washington. Whenever she can she walks the beach looking for agates, hoping for whale sightings, or takes on the splendor of the eagles and hawks filling the prairie sky. She enjoys a terrific burger, a rolling laugh, and getting to know people.Laura hopes that her words will bring hope and encouragement to get through the hardest parts of life.

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