In the past I was chastised by a peer. It concerned giving my opinion about a matter amongst a group of people. He took me to task because he felt that another person in the group might have been upset regarding my opinion. Little did my peer know that me and the other person had already connected in another conversation and we were both OK with having opinions that differ. What really torqued me, besides being talked to like I was a child that needed reprimanding about my behavior, was that the person that upbraided me was really only concerned with ‘making nice’ – so making an artificial connection in lieu of having an actual opinion. As if you cannot respectfully disagree and still maintain a connection. I dislike that. A lot. I rather loathe disingenuous connections. It smacks of a slimy ‘yes-man’ mentality. What is the point of an insincere connection? Networking for the sake of networking with nothing substantial behind it? I actually hate the term ‘Networking’ – it just sounds insincere.
I think a lot about connections. I really love connecting with people – if you scratch the surface, ask questions, listen, and observe what is happening around you, I believe you can connect with most anybody. A sincere connection through finding common ground, to me, is far more valuable than something fake for the sake of getting something in return – like a name to drop. The real connections are the ones that last – that give our lives meaning. That allows us to get along with others of different backgrounds and philosophies. To learn more about the world around us and expand our minds.
When I read people’s bucket lists, they often seem to revolve around travel. But mine is not that. Mine seems to revolve around meeting/knowing people. I really do love people – a class is better if there are people in there I want to be around or a teacher that I adore; a job is wonderful when there are people there that I want to spend my time with; my life is richer when the people around me are people I care about. I love easily – it sounds kind of dippy, but it’s true. I thrive on good conversation. It doesn’t always have to be intense or deeply philosophical – in fact, I’m rather more about laughing than being solidly serious – but it has to be sincere. It has to be genuine. I know no other way.
In my work, I deal with people mainly via email. I always have different quotes, mostly musical, in my email signature. Often someone will remark on a particular quote and that starts off a back and forth which leads to finding some common ground and that morphs into something solid. Just revealing a little bit about yourself through a music quote, for instance, can be the catalyst to something nourishing. Something that goes beyond just working with another client. That connection is alive and vital – it pulls down the barriers that block communication and opens up your world to something new. It often leads to a feeling of loyalty. If your job depends on the goodwill of others to seek out your services, isn’t it much more likely that they will want to continue to work with you because you are connected? Because you took the time to work with that person in a sincere manner – that you truly cared about something that has meaning to them? I feel that it’s true.
One of the reoccurring patterns in my life seems to be the ‘small world story’ occurrences. The other day, my son started a therapeutic class with three other children and it turns out that one of the moms does hot yoga with me. Were we meant to connect prior to our children connecting? Or is it simply a matter of being aware of the people I take yoga with, and then recognizing them in another setting? I don’t know. But I often feel drawn to people and find that they come into my life one way or another. In general, I feel very connected to the people around me. I feel it in my face to face relationships as well as my virtual ones. And I’m not saying I need to connect with every human being I come across – but I find that I need to have people in my life and most of them, I want to connect with on a personal level.
I remember years ago, doing some hypnotherapy for weight loss (mostly for slowing down my eating) and the woman I was working with told me that I seem to spend a lot of my time in a semi-hypnotic state- being very suggestible to the environment around me. Maybe that’s it – maybe I’m just taking in what people are giving off. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll cluck like a chicken if you ask me- I don’t know (hee hee)… And like much that I ramble about, there’s really no rhyme or reason for what I’m writing – I just wanted to put it on paper and see where it goes.
So when we met, either here or face to face, chances are that we are connected in some fashion or another. I look forward to finding that connection and welcoming you into my life.