“There are two types of people—those who come into a room and say, ‘Well, here I am,’ and those who come in and say, ‘Ah, there you are.’” Frederick Collins
I wish I was a “there you are” person. I’m pretty sure I’m not. I’m more a “here I am and, ah, there you are, too” person. By which I mean, I know (and am glad) you are there, and yet some insecurity causes me to start out by drawing attention to myself.
In school I was a well-behaved class clown. You would think that would be an oxymoron, wouldn’t you? But no. I learned to make my classmates (and teachers) laugh while not being disruptive. I was “appropriate.”
As an adult, this turned into being a performer. A presenter, singer, trainer, teacher. Often my motives were pure–to do the job at hand. Still, sometimes it was all about me. Helping you have a good time while being entertained or taught. To ease my anxiety. To put myself in control.
It’s not easy to turn these habits/adaptations off while in a one-on-one situation. If I’m not entertaining you, will you still like me? Will I feel ok? Intentionally bringing someone joy can be a method of self protection.
The older I get, and the more I travel this journey of life, the more I move into the space of “ah, there you are.” I know I am likeable even when I am not entertaining. Or at least I know it some of the time.
The rest of the time, well. . . Did I ever tell you about the time that I (insert entertaining story here)?