Thursday, May 5, 2011

socially awkward intentions

i have never hidden the fact that i am socially awkward.

data streams, research, macro patterns, and potential strategies become crystalline and i, with confidence, am able to outline various outcomes. i get my nerd on and i can babble babble babble.

yet.

put me in front of someone that i respect and care for....a relatively new friendship....and because it is new....i don't have the fluency of knowing them well enough to know how to support them.

this was definitely on my mind throughout the day.

after i did some work and meetings from 6ish to 10ish, i stopped into the ferry building to grab some blue bottle coffee.....


some bread from acme, strawberries + other produce from dirty girl.....and because i was away from work, i was able to ponder this further. what do you do when someone that you respect and care for is hurt? most of the folks that i care for, i've known for years....decades even....so i am very in tune with them. i know when to prod. i know when to listen. i know when to suck in my own anger at someone having hurt them. i know when to communicate my anger on their behalf.

yet, what do you do when it is someone relatively new?

i had no answers for this as i left the ferry building and re-entered my work day. then, it came up again...during a late afternoon break, when i made myself a simple snack of strawberries from dirty girl produce.......


and creme fraiche from bellwether farms.....




i thought about how i want to support them and that i hope that as time continues, i will get to know them better and understand better how to support them. yet, what the fuck do i do when the hurt is happening right now? it isn't like i can take an accelerated crash course for this sort of thing. (although that would be nice).


instead....i stand there.....wanting to respect their space....yet seeing that they are hurt.

through my awkwardness, i speak sincerely but because i know i am socially awkward...i wonder if it really comes out the way i intended.....which is....i see that you are hurt. i know that you are hurt. i don't see it getting better. i am worried about this. i don't know what to do or what to say to help. i don't know if what i am saying or doing is making it worse or better. i'm not going to give up on trying to figure it out. i cannot just stand aside and do nothing.

from my perspective, that is a fucking a lot of intention with not enough follow through. this is where i get so frustrated with myself....and my lack of fluency in this sort of thing.

even as i tried to put things aside to get back into my work project for another few hours, i could feel a part of my brain processing away at this. then after work, while i was waiting to meet up with some loved ones....


i made a decision. i made a decision to contact someone that i know you care for and cares for you. someone that knows you better than i. someone who is emotionally articulate. because....i think you are really great at reaching out for other people......and taking care of others.....including me....but i wonder how good you are at reaching out for yourself. so i did. i approached this person who i know you love and loves you. i asked them to reach out to you....because you are going through a hard time and that you are hurt....and that i could not stand aside and watch you be hurt...and do nothing.

i didn't give any detailed specifics. i didn't want to break confidences. i said that you were going through a challenging time and would it be possible for them to speak to you. i said that you were hurt and that i didn't know what to do...but that i couldn't just do nothing. i didn't say where the hurt originated.

did i do the right thing?

i don't know.

did i overstep the boundaries?

i don't know

are you probably going to be pissed off?

i don' t know.

that is a hella lot of "i don't knows".

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