Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Answering Wall Hangers and Seat Covers Prayers

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The holidays are here! The call to partying with strangers begins. Answering long forgotten prayers, hopes and dreams can be answered by us. We can even be part of the answers without spending a penny. All it will take is investing our time.

“How?”
“Why?”
“No way!”
Friends, co-workers and strangers have asked these questions or made a similar statement over the years when I’ve promised that they could have fun and make new friends at a party, business function or conference full of unknown people with ease and confidence. The fun begins by looking for wall hangers and seat covers.

My diverse career path led me often into business and social events where I knew no one or a few superficial acquaintances. However, as a corporate relations officer for a university and a multi-state area sales manager for an international airline, I had to force myself to meet strangers, build business relationships and even host out-of-state events. Many times, I only knew “me” in the room of hundreds.

When finding myself in a room full of strangers, I found the secret to changing my feelings from despair to delight was reaching out to others. Fortunately, I have been made with a sincere interest in people and their life stories. So walking into a room full of future friends is like strolling into a library with live authors and interesting characters to meet.

Instead of rushing to the food or tea tables when I enter an event, I pause left of the entrance and look for wall hangers and seat covers. Wall hangers are the individuals who are leaning against the wall watching the panorama with fear, self-isolation and a hope that someone would take an interest in them. Seat covers are those who choose to sit at an empty table. They’re less visible with a limited view point. However, they too have a hidden hope of being discovered and brought into the activities with gentle ease.

Both the wall hangers and seat covers are treasures to find. Bringing them to light through self-introduction and seeking them out has resulted in some long term friendships and business partners. They have life stories worthy of discovery.

After sharing why we are at the party, interests and stories; I asked the wall hanger or seat cover if they would like to adventure into the activities with me? We plan our strategies of introducing one another so we can enjoy the event without feeling alone or like an isolated object to be ignored.

Once I sat down by an older lady that I had seen during a conference rushing from breakout program to breakout program. No one seemed to be talking to her. Little did I know that she was just taking a quiet pause. By befriending her, I ended up catching a tiger by the tail. She knew most everyone. I had to hold on tight because it became her pleasure to introduce me to those she knew. Having been in Washington, DC for fourteen years in a key role, she introduced me to people I never imagined I would ever meet. She and I became life-long friends. The relationship began because I reached out to a seat cover in a crowd of strangers.

God has given me many treasured friends who hung on walls or sat alone on the outside looking in. He comes beside me so often when I feel lonely, isolated or unworthy. He invites me to remember to introduce His Son, Christ Jesus into the busy world of party goers this blessed season. All that it will cost me is time to answer prayers of wall hangers and seat covers.

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Reviewing Tips:
* Stand to the left of the entrance door and pause
* Avoid Rushing to the food or drink tables
* Look for isolated people and reach out to them with sincere friendship
* Introduce yourself, state why you are at the event and ask them the same
* Plan your introductions
* Step out together and have fun as outreach partners

What has been your hopes, dreams or prayers when mixing with an unknown crowd? Have you ever been a spectator with a hope of being invited to join the party? What happened or didn't happen? Your insight and experience can help us all with your written comments today.
Uplifting blessings.

4 comments:

  1. Another great post, Carolyn. You're so thoughtful. No wonder everyone loves you!

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  2. What a wonderful way to meet new people and not feel so "alone" when you've come alone!! This hasn't happened to me very often; I don't think I've met a stranger, but it's sure a good way to help the wall hangers and chair covers! I LOVE IT! Very thoughtful and insightful, Carolyn. Love, Reggie

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  3. Thanks Carolyn for this helpful information. I have never thought of meeting people this way. I usually find a place where I feel comfortable first, then look around to see who is near me who may be alone and introduce myself. Never thought to scope out the place first for wall hangers and seat covers.

    Love your take and ideas you share!

    Keep posting . . . I learn so much from you.
    Beth

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  4. Your tips are always informative and useful. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and grace.

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