Social well beingYou need at least six hours of socialization per day to bring about social wellbeing!* Now, there is a health headline that will capture the hearts of many people who love to talk, the so-called “painters” of this world. Rev. Dr. David and Kathy Ludwig, my partners in Grace Place, have developed a personality typography entitled, “Painters” or “Pointers”. Painters think and process out loud. They probably don’t know completely what they are thinking until they have verbally assembled a “word-painting” usually driving their pointer-partners, generally their spouses, completely nuts. About 75% of painters are women. Pointers process internally, whirling their Pentiums for sure, but doing it non-verbally. After they have internally processed their thoughts, they may finally verbalize with a short summary word or phrase…yeh, okay, grunt…thus driving their painter-spouses nuts. You guessed it…about 75% of men are pointers. The Ludwigs espouse that painters usually marry pointers; the difference is what adds energy to a marital relationship. Opposing social styles create a never-ending mystery, driving the relationship forward. But it also drives home the point!!! We need relationship effort, relationship work, frequently throughout the day to be well in our emotions, intellect and human interactions. The Gallup folks, to whom I frequently refer, conclude—thinking in 21st Century modalities—that effective socialization can occur in many forms; email, phone, sign, verbal, skype, yada, yada, yada. However, it needs to be an essential component of healthy living and healthy serving. What’s the flip side? Though it may feel good and appear safe, it is not healthy to endlessly burrow in the church office behind closed doors or in the parsonage study. This represents a huge conundrum for many more introverted pastoral personality types; they expend enormous energy daily in putting themselves “out there.” They need some internal and personal down-time to maintain balance and sanity. [infobox color=”000000″ backgroundcolor=”f5f5e4″ bordercolor=”0f9347″ icon=”attention-orange” ]Perhaps it is a wise practice for us to allow each other little “attitude adjustment” moments at the end of a church worker day to reset the buttons before we unburden ourselves on family members, and visa versa.[/infobox] [infobox color=”000000″ backgroundcolor=”f5f5e4″ bordercolor=”0f9347″ icon=”attention-orange” ]Further, it is helpful in terms of engagement in your vocation, to have friendships, particularly a good friend at work; and especially to have your spouse be a “best” friend forever, or BFF, to borrow from my text-savvy nieces. Once again, I share with you the physician’s observation of the oft self-imposed isolation of pastoral ministry. Pastors and teachers need good friends to encourage well being.[/infobox] [infobox color=”000000″ backgroundcolor=”f5f5e4″ bordercolor=”0f9347″ icon=”attention-orange” ]Finally, one interesting observation; take a walk! Combining exercise with socialization multiplies the benefits to your health…heart, soul, mind and strength.[/infobox] So paint or point, or text or Skype, or better yet go on a walk with best friend, but really work on relationships on a daily basis. And remember, your sustainable social well being really flows out of your relationship with Christ; He assures you of safety, comfort and rest, which you, in turn, can give to those BFF’s as you serve well, with a life well-lived.
*Well Being: The Five Essential Elements, Jim Harter and Tom Rath, Gallup Press, May 4, 2010