I do not see a recent post on this and it is where I am currently spending a lot of thought so I wanted to start dialogue.
As I understand it, the Eightfold Path is to be worked on simultaneously. I have noticed areas involving social settings are not getting the practice needed. I have been spending too much time in hermitude doing what I like to refer to as incubating my understanding of reality. I feel this is not allowing me as much practice as I should be getting in other areas and putting undue strain on the few social encounters I have.
I notice one of my biggest challenges is turning my mindful eye on my interlocutor regarding their perception of me. Then finding myself viewed in a particular way which causes my behavior to change as a result of the perception. Freeing myself of this challenge is one of my greatest struggles.
What others think of me is not my business nor should I let it affect me, however with enhanced presence of mind in the current moment, observations of body language, tone of voice, are difficult to ignore and once observed, difficult to dismiss without behavioral change. This reveals itself in ways such as socially anxious speech or socially anxious silence. A perception of less-than or apart-from. Hmm...maybe I cling to desire of being perceived as equal-to.
How does one skillfully navigate such clear indicators observed from others when those others may not be aware of, or care, what their non-speech conveys?
How does one do this as if they are family and the relationship must be maintained and built upon?