Sometimes it IS about Me

We block our own needs with our quirky little behaviors. When we feel lonely or out of place, we put out body language that keeps us that way, staring at our phones or tugging at our clothes or chipping at that spot on the table—things that keep our eyes down and an “occupied” sign on our door. If you see someone with one arm crossed, holding the other arm, or holding both hands together in what authors Allan and Barbara Pease call “The Broken Zipper Position,” be kind. The first is a self-comfort position for someone who is feeling insecure or out of place, and the second is often a defensive position for someone who is feeling vulnerable and exposed. Put yourself willingly into a vulnerable position, with a story that shows you being human, or with a compliment. Accessories such as cufflinks, ball-caps, and jewelry are wearable conversation-pieces.

A person who fears conflict often puts out a silent challenge, wearing lowered eyelids and a raised chin or tense posture with an uplifted chest. I wrote a swing song once about a friend who practically pumped testosterone into the air and got into fights everywhere he went. He wasn’t a bad guy, he just constantly anticipated conflict and got it. If you are this kind of person, ask God to guide you into the places where He wants you and expect Him to take care of you. Keep up your workouts, but remember “They will know we are Christians by our love,” and “Blessed are the peacemakers.” If you see someone in these positions, you might ask for an opinion or for help with something to make him feel respected. If however, the person has arms crossed with fists and teeth clenched, or if one hand is gripping the other arm for dear life behind the person’s back, have a bouncer standing by.

I love Jennifer Knapp’s song Into You about getting past the fronts.

Lord, thanks for giving us good instincts. Please build our skills so that we are better equipped to connect with the people You set before us. Help us to see others for who they are—vulnerable people who want to be understood and don’t want to be hurt. Shave away our own prickly behaviors, so we can be comfortable and authentic and trust You to carry us through every encounter.

I don’t have this one recorded, although it would be fun. Enjoy the lyrics though.

The Dude

Once knew a dude—you know the type

Always in the mood to put up a fight

When he played, he could make that steel sing

But when he walked by, he’d make you feel mean

 

Turn it down low, Daddy

Don’t want no rough stuff tonight

 

He could set that guitar on fire

But the band played behind chicken wire

All the girls said, “OOH! There goes a real man!”

But he inspired the guys to pop a whoopass can

 

Turn it down low, Daddy

Don’t want no rough stuff tonight

 

He wasn’t rude; he was just ready

He layed a groove made my friend Betty

Cut it loose on the floor to make a biker blush

And the boys went for the wire in a stage rush

 

Bring it on now, Daddy

Gonna be some rough stuff tonight

 

One more to even the score, one more to even the score,

Look—there’s 4—have you got any more?

10 more, now who’s keepin’ score?

Go, Daddy, Go go Daddy!

By the end of the night, the dude and the band

Set off for new sights. I’ll never understand

How one man could drive so many people insane

I hear Betty and Dude got a little slice of fame

 

Turn it up now, Daddy

Let’s play some rough stuff tonight

 

–5/4/2012 Kristi M Bridges

 

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