Sorry board game

“What’s the statute of limitations on apologies?”

Do you ever randomly find yourself wanting to apologize to people for things you did like 20 years ago?

HarryMetSally

There’s a scene from one of my favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally, where Harry asks the question, “what’s the statute of limitations on apologies?” He and Sally had met many years ago and had gotten off to a rocky start. Sally replies, “Ten years,” (the exact amount of time that had passed since they met). “I can just get it in under the wire,” says Harry, partly joking, but also partly serious.

Sometimes I’ll think back to elementary school or high school, and I’ll think about people I used to be friends with, but maybe I did something mean or stupid and we never talked again after that.

And now, looking back I’ll think, “why did I do that?” Sometimes it’s even more of an, “I can’t believe I did that!” kind of feeling.

I’ll admit, I’m occasionally tempted to find these people on social media and send them a message – but it just never seems right…

I recently rewatched The Office on Netflix for like the third time, and there’s an episode where Jim runs into a guy he hasn’t seen since the third grade. All during the episode Jim’s trying to avoid a conversation with this guy, and we eventually find out that Jim’s mom had told Jim he wasn’t allowed to be friends with this kid because he was in the “not-so-smart” kids’ reading group. Pam reassures Jim that he’s being ridiculous and that they are both grown-ups now so it doesn’t matter, and the scene eventually plays out where Jim is forced to confront his childhood friend.

Obviously, it doesn’t go well. Jim’s third grade friend is still mad that Jim considered him “too dumb” to be friends with. It’s overdone for dramatic effect, but I could totally see this happening in real life. There are certain people, who if I happened to run into them, their last memory of me might be from third grade. In their mind, I might still be that same person, instead of the person I am today – a person who has grown and matured to be more compassionate, empathetic, and socially aware – as probably almost all of us have since we were in third grade.

I tried to think of a person who, if I ran into them today, all I would remember when I saw them was something mean they did to me a long time ago. It wasn’t too hard to think of someone… there was this kid I knew when I was in 4th grade (he was in 5th), and we had an elective class together. His name was Patrick.

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girl peeking out of big sweater

This is What My Social Anxiety Looks Like

I wouldn’t say that I have intense social anxiety, but at times it does pop up and inconvenience me. Normally it’s in large gatherings, or when I’m faced with meeting someone new, that I feel myself morphing into the most awkward version of myself.

On the Myers-Briggs test, I am an ISFJ-T. (Check out 16Personalities to learn more!) When I took the quiz, I scored 58% on the Introvert scale, which surprised me at the time because sometimes I feel much more introverted than that. I like people, and when I get comfortable around people, my fun and crazy side usually starts coming out – but I definitely feel most comfortable at smaller gatherings, and I do need alone time to recharge.

All that to say, even though I’m not an extreme introvert and I do like social gatherings, I do find myself struggling with social anxiety more often than I’d like.

antisocial moth meme

Social anxiety can be an actual diagnosable disorder (SAD), and I do not have that. I am talking about levels of social anxiety that probably everyone feels at one time or another.

My family and I recently began attending a new (to us) church. This is probably where I feel my social anxiety most acutely these days. For example, when I’m sitting in Bible class, but the class hasn’t actually started yet, here are some thoughts that are probably popping into my mind:

Hmm… I’ve never met the people behind me. I should probably introduce myself. They look like they’re in the middle of a conversation though. I shouldn’t interrupt them… I’ll look back again in a minute. Okay they’re still talking, I should just quickly say hi… but Bible class is probably about to start, I don’t want to say something and then get cut off… Maybe next week I can try to meet them.

There’s that person I’ve met before – I have no idea what their name is. I’ve already asked them three times, so I can’t possibly ask them again. I guess I’ll sit on the other side of the room until I get a chance to look up their name…

*after saying hello to someone* Hmm… they didn’t really smile that much when they saw me. They probably hate me. Were they trying to avoid me? Oh no, did I do something to offend them???

Wow, that person seems so popular and cool. They probably have a ton of people who will want to talk to them, so I won’t waste their time by introducing myself. Wait, now they might think I’m avoiding them… I guess I’ll just say hi and then keep walking… but I just remembered I have a huge pimple on my chin – I don’t want that to be their first impression of me – I’ll just keep my head down and pretend I don’t see them.

Can anyone else relate to these thoughts? They sound extreme when I read them, but these are thoughts that I occasionally have to battle. I know they are irrational 99% of the time, but that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes they overwhelm me.

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book covers

Erica’s Favorite Reads – 2021

I hope the post title isn’t misleading: these are the top books I read in 2021, not just books that were published in 2021. I wasn’t quite sure how to convey that concisely in my title.

I generally gravitate towards nonfiction and self-help books – I have been on a big personal growth kick for like the past 5 years! However, this year I tried to challenge myself to read some fiction this as well, thanks to some recommendations from one of my best friends.

I read about 30 books total this year, which is a number I’m proud of. (Honestly, no matter what your number is, you can be proud of it!) I use Goodreads to keep track of everything I’ve read. You can find me on there if you want to see my entire reading list for 2021.

Two years ago I published a post of my favorite books for 2019, but I never posted my list for 2020. As I was trying to figure out why, I realized (with the help of Goodreads stats) that I read far fewer books in 2020 (hello pandemic!) Obviously we all had a lot going on in 2020… I’m glad to have been privileged to have time to be a more avid reader this year.

The Great Sex Rescue book

The Great Sex Rescue: The Lies You’ve Been Taught and How to Recover What God Intended
Nonfiction, Marriage, Christian

This book is the only book I have ever taken time to write a review for on Goodreads because I thought it was so good! I want to write an entire post on this book alone, but for now, I’ll share what I wrote on Goodreads:

I found this book to be very validating to my experiences. It was nice to be able to have it be so well articulated by someone. I appreciate how the authors took a critical look at what many other Christian books on marriage and sex are saying, and spelled out how certain messages could actually be harmful to women, and not even really what the Bible intended. I wish this book had been written years ago before I had gotten married, I wish it had been around when I started dating. I think it offers one of the healthiest perspectives on Christian marriage and sex I’ve read in a long time.

Frientimacy book

Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness
Nonfiction, Relationships, Psychology

I am not even finished with this book, but it has already made it to my list of top books for 2021! I am reading this with a coworker, and each week we read a chapter and then discuss it. This book takes a look at friendships and describes our basic need for being fully known and loved for who we are. It gives suggestions for ways to “close the intimacy gap” with friends by determining what areas of your relationship you need to invest in. The author states that each relationship needs 3 elements to be mutually shared in order to have a deep level of friendship: positivity, consistency, and vulnerability.

My one qualm with this book is that it is solely about female friendships – which I think is a shame because men need healthy friendships too, and I’m sure it would be off-putting to many men to read it when it is so geared towards women. However, many of the principles can be easily adapted for other types of relationships, and honestly it is really good information. If you’re a psychology nerd like me, you will find this book interesting!

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