Fringe Dweller

Someone asked me where the boundaries are to the fringes. How can you know if you, or someone you care for is a fringe dweller? Most people can not tell, but there are clues. I had moved to a new area, and begun to attend church services. The first thing I did was sit at the back. This, I did, so that I didn’t feel obligated to stay and chat after the service ended. I am one of the shy people, so a large group of strangers can be frightening. Thankfully, the Sunday School class I began to attend was quite small. Just five that attended regularly. Not nearly so scary. In fact, I looked forward to meeting with them, and building friendships with them all.

Making friends is hard when you are too timid to speak much.
It’s a catch 22 in a lot of ways. I never know what to say to new people, so, often I will just sit quietly in the group, smiling sweetly. But you can’t make friends without talking to people, which leaves me on the fringes. On the job, I’m the same. I do my job well, but I don’t get close. I don’t make lasting connections. Why?
Where, exactly are the boundaries. How can you tell if a person is really a part of the group, or hovering at the outskirts? How do you draw out a fringe dweller, empowering the person to become a vital part of the group?

You probably think a person who wants to wants friendship will just walk up to you with an outstretched hand. Not so. People like me take two steps forward, one step back