Well, the first week of my Junior year of college is complete. It’s the second week and everyone is trying to do the following:
2) Make sure they’re taking the right classes
3) Become more proactive/organized
4) Get more involved on campus
5) Remember which class has a paper due next week and which class has a project due
6) Find people to cover shifts at work
7) Find a place TO work
9) Watch people exercise via sporting events
10) Catch up and hang out with friends
Pretty decent sized list, huh? Believe it or not, there’s probably about 10-15 more things I could add.
But I really don’t want to talk about the list as a whole, I’d much rather focus on item 10 in the list.
So, here’s Duck #6…
If you’re a college student (or even if you’re not) with summer fully coming to a close and autumn falling into place (see what I did there?) you’ve probably heard the following phrases a lot recently:
“OMG Hi! Let’s catch up soon!”
“We need to hang out.”
“Let’s get together sometime.”
“I’m really busy, but we’ll get coffee before things get SUPER busy.”
Am I right?
Well, I’d like to call BS!
I’m not saying this to air out anyone’s dirty laundry, but let’s be honest for a moment, shall we? People often just say those phrases because it’s the “polite” thing to do, the “quick response” to give, the “i-haven’t-seen-you-in-forever-and-I’m-okay-with-that-but-I-feel-obligated-to-offer-my-initiative-to-hang-out” answer.
And like most of my blog rants, I can say that I’ve fallen into this category. (Now that I think about it, that’s probably why I so passionately blog about them. Go figure.) And the worst part about giving those responses is when the other person responds with, “Okay! Just let me know when you’re free.”
“WHAT?! NO. That’s not how you’re supposed to respond,” we think. But we say, “Will do!”
It’s a game. You place the social ball in their playing field (because in this game, you want the other team to have possession of the ball for as long as possible) and slowly begin to go back to you’re side when suddenly out of no where, the other team comes back with a wicked curve ball. Now, your’e left with the ball on YOUR side of the field and are forced to make the next move. A move you didn’t want to make in the first place.
It’s awkward. It’s uncomfortable. It’s insincere.
So why is this socially awkward game played and aired on the television of our lives daily? There’s no tuning in for next week’s episode. There’s not a season finale. We’re living live through re-runs.
I propose we change this. Rather, I am proposing to change it myself. At least for my 8:00pm air-time.
If I don’t want to hang out with someone, I’m not going to. It’s a horrible feeling to feel like you HAVE to hang out with someone. Even if you ARE friends. A forced relationship isn’t a relationship at all.
When I want to hang out with someone, I will ask them. I will make time to spend live time with them versus the time spent talking behind a computer of cellphone screen. HANGING OUT WITH PEOPLE ISN’T MEAN TO BE A BURDEN. IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE ENJOYABLE!
What’s wrong with saying,
“Hey, I miss you. Can we get lunch together THIS week?” or “Hey! Wanna come over for dinner on Thursday, I want to hear about your summer,” and actually mean it.
I know, I know. Sometimes we genuinely are busy, but we’ve got to make time to actually SAY.WHAT.WE.MEAN. in the realm of catching up with friends. We’ve also got to free ourselves to say, “No.” If you don’t want to hang out with someone, if you have somewhere to be, if you just need time alone. THAT IS OKAY. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to be around people for a little while.
Be intentional either way. Don’t just answer to avoid whatever awkwardness may or may not come.
[Lord, help me to be intentional with my actions. May I be sincere in what I do. Give me the grace and strength to see people through Your eyes.]