By Nathan, on August 13th, 2013
Sometimes I feel alone. So very alone. I live in a house with at least 4 other people, and as many as 7 when my kids are here. But I still feel alone. I work in a grocery store and I find that I like the shifts when I can interact with many customers, and say things that I planned out before hand so I can make them feel good for a couple minutes and thus make myself feel good too. Now, with all of these people around all of the time, why would I feel alone? Well, I am introverted, to a point. So are the people in my house. We each have our areas of the house that we go to and we don’t really see each other very often. At work, I sometimes work the graveyard shift and customers are pretty self-sufficient at 1 AM. I’m alone a lot, in the midst of many people, and it is an interesting irony to me. A bunch of introverts together is not a socially dynamic crowd. This isn’t helped by the fact that I have a difficult time with small talk. And I am not entirely an introvert. Sometimes I am a very out of practice extrovert.
So I called my brother up to see if he was up for going out for a few beers or something tonight. I haven’t gone out much lately, due to work and odd scheduling and such. I felt I needed some camaraderie and some time to blow some steam off. So I met him at a great place I had not known of before and had some beer and light fare and we talked. Then we walked and talked and walked some more, which is one of my favorite things to do (it is cheap and utterly fulfilling to me). I don’t need the frenetic bar scene of my youth that is bent on total self immolation and many, many, many people crowding around. A time to spend with others in light and heavy conversation over beer or cigars or just plain exchange of ideas or all of the above; that I feed on. I am revitalized. A little.
It helps me crystallize ideas and solve problems that I can’t figure out in my own head. I have written much about conflict resolution in the past, but that doesn’t mean that I always can resolve it. I am fallible. I have a tendency to think myself into circles; fail to see the forest for the trees. I don’t always see how I can apply my own advice to my own problems. I am not always at peace with the path I have chosen to walk. When I can step back a little from my own thoughts and try to formulate them for another person, and maybe revisit some older conflicts that I avoid with other people, to see where there might be some common ground, and then it can help finding a solution to a few problems I can’t see my way out of. I got my job based on the advice I have given in the past. Now I have problems following my own advice. Reciprocation and relaxing sometimes help in unknotting the thought patterns I tangle in my brain.
How might you unknot your thought patterns?