Social Interaction: Apologist vs Positive Strength

Hi all – this is going to be a post about a pattern I’ve seen in social interaction – mainly the contrast between two different approaches. I’ll just call them “Apologist” and “Positive Strength”.

The General Features of Each

The first, Apologist, is marked by anxiety, fear, andĀ not wanting to “bother” other people. There’s a sense of reducedĀ value here, as if one’s contributions will detract from the other person’s experience, or at least be highly questionable or vulnerable to criticism and rejection. There’s a big sense of risk involved, but it’s seen as necessary in order to even have a chance at positive interaction.

The second, Positive Strength, is more grounded in a sense of one’s own value and personal goodness. You can approach the other person in good will because you know the value and goodness of your own intentions. There’s nothing to hide, and so there’s a sense of openness here, and that includes to however the other person might respond, even if that means rejection or criticism. One is far more likely to be concerned about the state of the other person, too, and wanting what’s best for them. With openness, there’s also more of a heartfelt sense of empathy, as well as acceptance of the other person. Sometimes, there’s a sense of courage and vulnerability here, in that you’re open to such criticism, but for the most part, there’s also a sense of ease – social interaction flows more naturally from this position, rather than operating in starts and stops as little anxious bumps are overcome. You both give and receive openly.

How Value plays a part

Value contributes here because if you don’t value what you’re putting forward, you’re going to feel more like that you’re looking for something to be given to you, without having anything to giveĀ of value of your own. Continue reading