Question from a reader -
Hi Sebastian, a question. I'd like to know how you came to be so... gracious. I've noticed that not only do you preach for others to spread gratitude, but you really do go over-the-top with it. It's a bit unbelieveable at times. But I have a good friend who is always very glad to see me (and everyone else). We aren't close anymore, but I always feel we are. I get the feeling you're similarly genuine. How did that come to be? Have you always been that way? I've been trying to be more thankful, but I don't want it to come off as meaningless as a forced plastic smile.
Well, first, that email totally made my day. Thank you.
Before I answer, I've got to pose a hypothetical question to you. Trust me, it's relevant:
Do you think it's more virtuous to do $5,000 worth of good for someone and get $0 in return, or to do $10,000 worth of good for someone and get $2,000 in return?
On The Insolent Oak
I've met a new friend last week that is rather open and an interesting mix of an Introverted extrovert. He doesn't like being the center of attention in a group, but damn sure likes the attention one-on-one from his friends. (er... ladies, really. But I'm just guessing) I'll call him Mr. C. just for clarification purposes. Mr. C. is a terribly fun flirt, genuinely nice, and a great voice. Now, I'm okay at flirting, witty remarks, innuendos and such. That's about it. I can talk the talk but I don't know how to move past that.
One of my quirks of life is that I like being social... Once I get to know the people I'm being social with. They've had an adjustment period where they learn how awkward I am and I get a chance to learn just how offensive I can be or not. Until then, it's stressful and I'm quiet usually and manage to say the wrong things... There really isn't more than a handful of people that fit this category. Really, truly. Even my social media accounts for how few friends and people I know. (31 people on FB at this time. 100 is low average, most others range 300+ in my friends friend lists) Plus, being constantly broke in a small town full of small town minded people doesn't exactly lend to meeting folks that would get along with myself.
I have the anomaly of being quite gifted with helping others with situations in their lives, but can be completely stone walled in what to do in mine. I grew up with books as my best friends. They were the ones that taught me about the world and people. Helped me learn what it was that I was seeing other people do, how they reacted, right, wrong, evil, good, indifferent. l can read a person fairly well, know secrets others don't with out even a word about the secret. I know when someone lies, when they hide something and when they tell the truth. I can see when they're angry, sad, or happy, interested in someone, plotting, etc. All with one major caveat. I see all this as long as it is not directed at me. Don't get me wrong. I can see the darker emotions, life events necessitated that I learn those quickly for what safety I could seek.
I have two other friends, we'll call them Mrs. N and Mr. N. They're seeking a third, an honest to goodness woman who could fit into their life as their other wife. I'm around (joy of housemates) and having to interact with some of the women they've introduced. Mrs. N. told me how amazingly level headed I am dealing with them. Little does she know... LOL How do I explain to the people that matter that despite the obvious experience (can't hit 30 with out some experience points) I'm great at seeing, at explaining, at helping words and hard lessons for others, but I'm quite bad at doing it for myself? I've gotten down the part of stepping up and being the hard lesson, when it counts. Good gods is that not fun. I'm terrible about meeting people, the small talk, interpreting what they say, what their body says, what do they actually mean, how serious or not are they if they complement something, how do I stop sounding so damn insecure?!! How do you explain it with out sounding insecure?!
Let me tell you, saying to some cute guy that actually has the cajones to sit next to you at a bar or coffee shop and say hello... that you're pretty much an Aspie when it comes to people? That you're not stupid, it's just hard sometimes to translate the way you think, in pictures and emotions and sounds, to words? Especially when finding words can be difficult sometimes?