Becoming Approachable

(c) Monique Pearson Photography, Design by Renee Fisher

[Monthly Columnist – Rebekah Snyder] – Maybe beauty has nothing to do with it. Maybe instead of focusing on making ourselves beautiful, we need to focus on making ourselves approachable.

I wonder if I’m the only person who thinks how ludicrous this is.

Me. The girl of whom it was whispered around the youth group, “Don’t mess with Rebekah, man. Her dad will snipe you.”

Me. The girl who spent five months avoiding two guys who would eventually become some of her best friends. Thankfully, they patiently pursued her until she finally agreed to attend their silly Christmas party – just to get them off her back.

Yeah, I know all about being approachable. I know it’s what I’m not.

In the months following that infamous Christmas party, I learned a few things about myself. As I slowly surrendered to this persistent tag-team, I discovered just how hard it is to put yourself out there and allow someone else to get acquainted with some of the deeper parts of your heart.

I froze up like a deer in headlights on more than one occasion.
I retreated back into myself more times than I care to count.
But then I realized something…

If I wanted these guys to be a part of my life, I was going to have to let them in.

I know, I know. It was such an obvious, simple revelation and yet so difficult to practically apply to my life. Because letting them in would mean making myself approachable. It would mean that I had to start volunteering some of the information they worked so hard to get. It would mean that I would be forced to step outside of myself and approach them sometimes instead of always making them be the ones to come to me.

It was hard.
Sometimes it still is hard.
But it was worth it.

Those moments where I’m asked a question and I have to struggle to find an answer are worth it. Because I’m still learning what it means to let someone into my life. I’m still becoming approachable.

I think the reason I was a loner for so long is because, all my life, people have walked in and out of my story.

I’ve lost count of the “best friends” who have forgotten all about me as they drifted off to do their own thing. Because I’d grown so used to people floating in and out of my life, I convinced myself that I didn’t actually need people.

But the truth was that I was afraid.I was afraid to open up and really be honest with someone who could choose to walk away at any moment.

When you dare to share your life with someone, you give them the potential to hurt you. That’s a fact.

Making yourself approachable means making yourself vulnerable. It means opening yourself up to rejection and heartache. But it also means opening yourself up to joy and friendship and blessings.

And when I think of the many incredible people who are a part of my life now because of that Christmas party I didn’t want to attend… Well, it makes me thankful for the people who take the first step. It makes me want to be the kind of person who takes the first step.

So here’s to the people who dare to let themselves be known.
Here’s to the people who would take a chance on someone else.
Here’s to the people who live open-handed.

Here’s to becoming approachable.

Rebekah Snyder is more approachable in her writing than in face to face conversation, but she’s working on that. You can get a glimpse of this rare, vulnerable side of her by reading her book Beyond Waiting or stopping by her blog www.beyondwaiting.com.

16 comments on “Becoming Approachable”

  1. How to become more approachable – force yourself to talk to strangers. That’s what I’ve done this year, and it’s actually easier and more fun than I thought it would be. Just simply saying “hi” + 1 kind of obvious statement is enough to make a new friend. This year I’ve made friends on planes, at really huge cocktail parties that usually make me want to scream inside, in lines, and wherever. It’s scary at first but it becomes so much less scary the more you do it, and the more you realize that God loves you no matter what so the other person’s opinion won’t change anything. Nothing to lose and the potential to gain a new friend! Anyway, that’s my unsolicited advice from a recovered unapproachable person. – K

    1. Karen,
      Thanks for the post script. 🙂 I’m so glad you’re a recovered unapproachable person because we’d probably never talk if you weren’t. And for the record, I think you’re pretty awesome… even if some of those people you randomly chat with in lines think you’re pretty strange. 😉

  2. Alice4God says:

    Good read! I agree, “Making yourself approachable means making yourself vulnerable.” It means refusing to pretend that you never struggle and it means pushing through fear. Amen.

  3. Jason Wert says:

    “Making yourself approachable means making yourself vulnerable. It means opening yourself up to rejection and heartache. But it also means opening yourself up to joy and friendship and blessings.”

    The truth in this is so glowing it hurts.  I hate to say I don’t know many times of joy and friendship and blessings from opening up…but I know it’s the only way to possibly find it. 

    Great words, Rebekah.  Very well done.

    1.  Thanks, Jason. This is honestly one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written because… Well, I guess I had to make myself vulnerable. Again. So glad it spoke to you.

  4. guest says:

    For a long time I didn’t know what was ‘wrong’ with me, but I now I know it’s called ‘being approachable’. 

    1.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Approachability is something that comes harder to some of us. Like I said, I’m still learning. And were it not for two super persistent and wonderful guys, I might still be out there in the land of approachability. I pray God sends a couple of those kind of people into your life (and I pray you’ll be more willing to accept them than I was).

    2. devotionaldiva says:

       Amen. And I think a lot of times we’re waiting on God’s timing. So maybe it’s really not about you or how people view you, but waiting on God to send the right person your way! I know I felt like that for a long time too!

  5. Being approachable is choosing to have your guard down. Putting yourself in situations that you cannot control, and sort of having to just respond off the cuff to what happens! It is, as you said, vulnerability. And that’s tough!

    I loved this, it’s beautifully written and a much-needed message to share. Thank you!

    1.  Yes, it is tough. So glad you were encouraged.

      1. devotionaldiva says:

         Thanks again Rebekah for sharing 🙂

  6. Rachelle Rea says:

    Thank you for this, Rebekah. I can certainly relate and I’m trying to become more open with others. Isn’t fear just the thing? Poisonous, it can choke us. I had some serious Jesus-time this morning as I dwelt with some nervousness about letting a friend in. This was exactly what I needed to read this afternoon! 

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