I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve got this funky habit that has created more awkward moments than I care to admit.
Here’s how it works: my wife and I invite people over, make small talk, finish dinner, and get a good conversation going. Then, at some point in the conversation, I abruptly interrupt the festivities by handing our guests a pen and asking them to sign our guestbook, which effectively operates as an invitation for them to leave.
Every time it happens, the guests politely scoot out the door, we say goodbye with pleasant smiles, and then my wife looks at me with exasperation and asks, “Why did you do that again? Why don’t you just let people leave when they want to?”
Well, here’s why: Although I’m usually a pretty confident guy, for some reason, when it comes to most house guests, I have an anxious fear that: (1) guests will feel obligated to stay, even if they need to go; and (2) our awesome conversation is going to get derailed by a moment of awkward silence – and I can’t stand awkward silences.
So when we have guests over and the conversation is going well, before I know it, I’m abruptly shutting things down by saying, “Well, thanks for coming. Make sure and sign the guest book before you go!”
People, this is weird. This is what insecurity does to you.
I don’t know what your insecurity triggers are, but there’s a good chance you don’t know what they are either. So you might consider asking your spouse or a close friend if you’ve got any odd social quirks, anything you do that makes you come off as socially awkward. I could be wrong, but I’m willing to bet that whatever your quirks are, they’re related to some kind of anxious fear or insecurity inside.
The good thing about digging up this stuff is that it’s a fresh, peculiar area to take to God, a new opportunity to be like, “Father, I am so weird. I’m irrationally afraid of people, and I don’t even realize it. Come into these strange weeds of my heart and parent me out of my hidden insecurities.”
The good news is, even if you don’t pray that prayer, God will probably be gracious enough to send someone along to be like, “What is your deal? Why do you do that?” But when that happens, don’t resent that person – thank them, and thank God for them; because He’s probably using them to reveal another area where He’s eager to see you walk in freedom.