Drinking in the presence of others

I’ve noticed that I sometimes start to feel uncomfortable with other people when I feel I can’t sufficiently mirror them. Maybe the energy they’re giving off feels wrong to me, or I don’t quite agree with what they’re saying, or they’re expressing some difficult emotion. Basically, I’m feeling some resistance to an aspect of their presence.

I think of this phenomenon as akin to drinking a beverage and gagging on some weird flavor you weren’t ready for. Sometimes there might be a good reason for this. Maybe you’re responding to the taste of a poison or something that just isn’t good for you. But it might be that you’re just not used to the flavor, and if you acclimated to it, you wouldn’t have any trouble finishing the drink.

The title of this image was Bebida divertida (“fun drink”). Photo credit: Prácticas Intraescolares

I kind of abused that metaphor, but when applied to people, it means that it might take a little effort to fully “drink in” their presence. Being able to drink without gagging is really about giving your full attention to the person, and not flinching away from discomfort. And that full attention is something generally worth making an effort for.

Do you ever get uncomfortable or awkward around people? Does it make it difficult to be fully present with them? Do you try to work through that discomfort? Have you ever gagged on a weird-tasting drink? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​ctrl-c.club.