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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


The Further Obligations of a Social Butterfly

In high school I learned that drugs and alcohol were a good way to overcome my natural bookwormishness and shyness and to make friends. That technique worked well during college, too.

But as a mom in mom-centric social settings (mothers club meetings, preschool meetings, playgroups, school socials, etc.) that method of fitting in isn't appropriate. However, I still need to be able to socialize with others--including strangers--and I feel my ability to do so with ease is important for a number of reasons:

1. Being in a social setting without the skills to mix and mingle is extraordinarily painful.
2. At this stage in my life, there are many social situations I am in that I didn't choose, but that I can't avoid.
3. I want my children to learn socializing skills. I want them to see me as an example of a person who greets people and shakes hands, looks others in the eye, and says appropriate things.

My social skills are okay; I can enter a strange setting and usually find somebody with whom I can have a conversation. But I have to try hard to help other people feel at ease, too. And many times I'm just happy that I survived without being laughed out of the room (or whatever the worse case scenario would be.)

A good hostess mixes and mingles with her guests and introduces people to each other. I suppose a natural hostess does this even in social settings she didn't engineer. I am not a natural hostess.

The comment landismom of Bumblebee Sweet Potato made on yesterday's post got me thinking about something I recently was discussing with a friend. We were talking about whether or not popular women had a responsibility to their newcomer or less outgoing sisters to make them feel welcome in social situations.

What is the responsibility of a popular individual to draw other individuals into the fold? Is there a burden of popularity? This assumes that the "popular" woman understands she is popular and therefore her responsibility to making less outgoing women feel comfortable.

For example, say you go to a meeting of your local mothers club. You are new. When you walk in the door, you see a group of women who obviously know each other and who are talking and laughing. Do you wish one of those women would see you, wave you over, and invite you to join their conversation?

Or if you typically find yourself in that group of women, do you feel an obligation to invite others into your fold?

Doggy and toes

Just wondering. You will not be graded on your answer.

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