The word of the weekend is graciousness
When you hear the word graciousness, what comes up for you? A well-bred man or woman (having nothing to do with socioeconomic standing, btw)? A benevolent person? A caring person?
I find an ease in graciousness. I’m a nervous person, which is to say that I am anxious person, and by that I mean I have anxiety. Lordy, do I have anxiety. Just typing that pinged on the anxious-o-meter (joke drum effect).
However, when I make the effort to show graciousness, anxiety takes a nap. When I am focused on the well-being of others, I forget that I may have said that wrong Did I just see them look at me funny Why did I wear this Why is no one talking to me Why is everyone talking to me Did I say something wrong AGAIN You’re never going to get invited anywhere You should’ve stayed at home Is this list funny or not?
After a few false starts, I can tell when someone wants into a conversation or not (my apologies to anyone I may have embarrassed. Sigh. Add that to the list…).
Taking the time to insure that someone is comfortable, included in the conversation, or even just heard, makes the social interaction about everyone and not about myself. And, if it’s not about me, the sweats stop (sorry to anyone I’ve given a squishy hug to. Ewww.) If the sweats stop, the heart rate gets back to normal.
Graciousness and ease go so well together. You will get and give both. I find that it brings the best out of people.
Think about what you’d like to be asked about your job, your hobby, you children, and then ask those questions. It’s easy to do and it allows someone else to feel included.
Perhaps the next time you’re feeling the anxiety walls closing in when you’re with others, try graciousness. Show that you have an interest in goat yoga, even if you never thought you would. What’s the worst that can happen? You learn the best asana for not tipping you, and the goat, over.