“It’s so good to hear from you Dianna, I wondered when you might call!” Such heartwarming words…..right? Well, Yes and No. Over the years I have pondered a particular dilemma over and over again. Probably we have all given this challenge some thought but we might not have taken time to “unpack” it…..
” Dianna, I’ve missed you but I know you are so busy”. Such kind words….right? well, Yes and No. How might you know that I am too busy for you? How might you find out?
See the dilemma?
Over the years I watched my parents invite so many, many people into their home–for meals, holidays, or for a small groups~ they enjoyed it all. But, I realized, as their daughter that IF they didn’t invite or reach out to others people would rarely reach back to them with invitations. Hmmmm……why is that?? Were they unappreciated? No, I don’t think so .
I believe there are two types of people: “Inviters” and ” those who wait to be invited”.Though there may be a few mid-range people, mostly there seems to be two camps. Truth be known, neither one is better than the other, just different.
If you are a person who waits to be invited then you may filter your relationships by being very mindful of what you assume another’s schedule might look like; you don’t want to impose yourself into the busy life of those you care for. However, you may find yourself hurt when you don’t hear from someone for a period of time, assuming they are just too busy for you.
If you are a person who finds it easy to invite others into relationship with you, to spend time or to send a card or phone call, you may filter your relationships by wanting to be certain that those you care for know you are thinking of them. However, you may find yourself hurt when that interaction isn’t returned the way you had hoped, you may assume that the relationship isn’t reciprocal.
For either style there are a some tips that might address some of the concerns that may arise:
1. If you are one who waits to be invited, it is important to assume the best of those you love. Perhaps, once you realize this behavioral style is YOU, you can learn to stretch yourself to initiate connections, planning them seasonally or calendaring them, and begin to make new efforts to reach out to those who matter to you.
2. If you are one who initiates and invites others into relationship, it is important to assume the best in those you love. Once you realize this behavioural style is YOU, you will need to balance your expectations when you send a card, call, text, or gift. Not everyone responds in the same way. Reach out with an open hand and heart assuming you have been a blessing even if you never get a response. Reach out without expectation simply because it is in your heart to do so.
Why do I spend time addressing this? Because I hear the disappointments that can result from this dilemma all the time; I have experienced the disappointments and misunderstandings myself!! If we understand our own natural style, address it, and gain understanding….well, I can only imagine we will be less offended, have less disappointment, and experience more joy in the giving or receiving in our relationships… THAT is my hope! 🙂