Sometimes we grow up feeling like we aren’t good enough. By default we expect to have to ‘earn’ others approval. That if we don’t ‘try’ or do anything impressive, our natural normal relaxed self will be disliked.
Another could be tired, exhausted, lonely, depressed, sad, about something that has nothing to do with us, yet in this ‘I’m not good enough state’, it becomes about us, we read our fears into their tiredness, we think they are tired with us, they are disapproving of us. However so often people are really just exhausted with things that have nothing to do with us, this person they just met, or a near aquenace, they aren’t really judging you very much at all, so when getting to know people, it’s really essential to see that their pain has nothing to do with us, it is not caused by something ‘we did’ just now, it has a deep history that has nothing to do with us. Then we can separate their pain from us. And people and strangers become much more approachable. When I come from a place of trust and self trust, instead of self doubt, then it becomes easier to see that this person is frequently not mad with me, that they are in fact actually sad or in pain about what can be a great many things starting before you arrived or years ago, you might just call it the inherent pain of life.
Not taking their pain personally, and not expecting them to be happy, seeing that it is ok to be drained or disgruntled actually allows the other person to feel safe, they can let down their guard, and don’t have to always ‘act happy’ they don’t have to worry about the stress of doing that. They don’t have to act happy purely to protect us from taking sadness or lameness personal, because they can see that we are accepting of all the moods. This humanness is actually a place for deeer connection than the forced happy. They see we had a hard day to and they feel our humanity. They feel closer to us, and may tell us something deep about their day they would not have said if they felt pressure to be upbeat or nice. Sometimes all the niceness becomes like a cover to protect from the fear of the silence between people, it creates pressure for everyone to act nice and upbeat yet then the sad emotions and personal human struggles never come out so we feel strangely distanced. The ‘nice guys finish last’ thing. The sadness or pain becomes a good thing, because we have accept it is there, is not about us, and it becomes something we can have compassion for, an opening to connect, a reason to just be together and listen, or lower standards and expectations. it takes off the stress of having to pretend everything is “great” all the time. We can worry less about offending each other and take more time just enjoying ourselves in each others company.