Making friends, connecting with people, fitting in – can be a tricky business, especially if you feel a bit of an oddball at times in new social or work situations as I do 🙂
When we want a person to like us, or perhaps form a bond or business relationship with someone, we naturally try to find a connection – some common ground. Things flow more smoothly when one person’s opinion or experience matches the other’s.
I often think if you spend enough time with anyone you’ll find a connection at some point. My parents used to live overseas and twice a year I would do a long haul flight on my own to visit them. By the end of the 12 hour flight I used to feel like the person sitting next to me was my brother or sister.
When I am trying to make a connection with someone – to impress them, to be part of the gang, or pretend I know something when I don’t, I find that I come across as a bit of a lunatic. I say inappropriate things, I don’t listen – I’m too busy worrying about how I’m coming across or working out the right thing to say.
But when I am truly myself, I find that I connect with most people in some way.
And I think this is true in a work space too. When making a decision from a choice of similar products and services, I often base it on the human element. Whether or not I feel a connection with the face of the company. Whether I think they are being honest and ‘real’.
So as I get older and I hope wiser, in whatever context I find myself – at work, at the school gates picking up my children or making friends, I try to be true to who I am – not pretend to be someone I’m not and I try to listen – to really hear and understand what a person is saying and things usually work out pretty well 🙂