The Human Connection
Sometimes I just have to blog about life. Essentially what I would typically journal I'm now sharing with you. For no other reason than in past experience and responses I've received...often times there is someone on the other side who makes it through my ramblings and what I've written down has resonated. So here goes...
Anyone notice that it is hard AF (I cringe thinking I'll get a text from my tech challenged Mom asking what that means) to make deep connections with people the deeper into adulting we get.
Since moving to a new city I've put myself out there a lot. My job as a television video journalist requires me to interact with new people every single day. I've always taken pride in the fact I can walk into a room feeling confident that I can strike up a conversation with anyone. And I can. However, pass the buck conversation is a lot different than building a bond with someone that you can ultimately count on in this busy world.
Now don't get me wrong. I've built a small handful of these deeper connections since moving here. I couldn't feel more grateful for those people that have entered my life. The ones I can be 100 myself and 100 percent real around. Outnumbering those is a large collection of those I have on the surface interactions and friendships with.
Which then brings the question. Why is it hard AF to be real. As clearly the equation for a deep connection is simple. Be 100 percent yourself with each other and your bond will grow. As humans I've noticed we set limits. Perhaps even a subconcious expectation that we project on an interaction that prevents us from breaking through that perceived barrier.
So what has caused this whole mental mind blown mood to strike me. I went to my pal Po on's winter mingler. Notice I say pal. I really like her and we actually have a lot in common. However, I haven't invested the time to dig deep with this woman. Another shining example...adding this to my to do list as I actually think there is great friendship potential there.
Any who I checked into the mingler, slapped on a name tag and got to work. There was no way I was going to stand in a corner awkwardly with a glass of wine in hand. And so it began. "Hey nice to meet you" "What do you do" "How long have you lived in Vancouver" "Do you live around here"
Rinse. Wash. Repeat.
The rehearsed rhetoric we are all guilty of.
Then magic happened. Julian DeSchutter of Damn Early Days came up to the microphone and called us all out on our BS. With a simple chair.
The rules were clear. He would ask a question. The more you felt the answer to the question to be your truth you moved closer to the chair. Then we would share from the outer circle and the inner circle why we made our place there.
Question one. How easy do you find it to meet people.
Chair plus me. Glued to the chair. I can genuinely say I don't get nervous meeting new people in the slightest.
So he asked why I was so close. I expressed I loved meeting new people and generally others are sometimes just needing someone else to break the ice. So he asked my advice for the ones on the outer circle...quite possibly the dumbest response came out of my mouth.
"Well you always have the weather." UGH! Now in fairness I work at The Weather Network so its a hot topic for me. However, my response could not have missed the mark more and quite honestly it has led me to a spiral of self reflection.
Cool he said as he probably cringed on the inside. The questions continued all with a goal. To get us beyond that rehearsed rhetoric we all guard ourselves with. Before I knew it I was having real deep conversations with people I had never met from all walks of life. People sharing hardships from their lives whether it had been deaths, finance, career or family. The energy in the room had dramatically shifted from when I had initially walked in. It was powerful.
So now I left this entire mingler with a completely shifted mindset. It was something I didn't expect.
We all crave human connection. Especially when you move to a new place and have left your rock solid have your back humans that you can sporadically break into song around with zero judgement thousands of kilometres away.
There are so many things and challenges in life where we say with risk comes reward. Life's biggest rewards come from the biggest challenges. They go on and on.
What I've learned is that this is no different when it comes to building a true human connection with another individual. You have to risk being vulnerable. You have to challenge yourself to not only share, but to unequivocally listen. You have to make the investment on a deeper level to reap the reward.
More than likely the person on the other side is craving the same thing as you. We are all just humans going through life with stories, challenges, successes and obstacles to share. We want to infuse our lives with people that have meaning.
We all just have to admit that it isn't easy to let someone in. We need to be kind to others as there is always more beneath the surface that meets the eye.
Listen with an open heart and share with an open mind.