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Posts Tagged ‘social interaction’

CARTOON3

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Some people seek knowledge. It might even drive them.

I know people who frequent wikipedia at least 10 times during a movie, looking up things they don’t know. I know people who get up in the morning and read up on something because they want to know more about it. I know people who level up on knowledge constantly and enjoy knowing stuff they are interested in.

I’m not like that. I enjoy learning about things. I enjoy broadening my skill set even more. But what I really seek, what really gets me up in the morning, is human connection.

I am driven by feeling connected with other human beings. Everything I do, be it smile to a random passer-by or ask a friend about what’s going on, is to enhance the feeling of connection with that other person.

I don’t want anything from you. I don’t have to rely on you. I just want to know you and try to understand what you’re about (note that I say ‘try’ here because I think it’s obviously an illusion to think you can fully know another human being)

This is why I love asking questions so much. It’s curiosity, nothing else. By asking questions, I hope to get answers. And those answers may be puzzle pieces to understanding you better. By gathering these puzzle pieces, it is easier to relate to you and thus easier to feel connected. I enjoy feeling this connection.

For the longest time, I didn’t know that this was not a universal thing. I was surprised when a friend told me the other day that he knows someone who does not seek to understand other people like I do.

I seek connection. I’m an addict for connection, really. I get upset when a connection seems to be severed (even temporarily) and I yearn for new connections constantly. That sounds a bit dramatic, but if everything I do is connected (no pun intended) to this, then it certainly is an important part of my life.

I am sure not all people work the same as me. I am sure other people have other things that drive them. This just tells me that asking questions comes naturally to me, and that I will always be interested in what anyone has to say. I even made this a large part of my work. I rarely meet anyone that I do not find interesting.

I guess I’m just really a people person.

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I think about people who are close to me a lot. Sometimes, someone I know would just pop into my head. And sometimes, it’s because I know something is going on in that person’s life.

I’ve made it a habit to also act on this. Some time ago, I decided it couldn’t hurt to let this person know that I’m thinking about him/her, so I made it into a habit to send a message, or call them up to let them know. And every now and then, my timing proved to be impeccable and that was just what that person needed, which is nice for me to hear.

Lately however, I’ve been learning a lesson about thinking. I feel like thinking is not always the best way to go, and I’m learning to be in a space where there’s more of ‘feeling’ and less of ‘thinking’. It is teaching me a bunch of stuff, including things about flow, intuition and success/failure.

Today it struck me. The sentence “I’m thinking of you” doesn’t ring right anymore. What I do when I do that, is go with my feeling to that other person, and from a distance be present with them. There is absolutely no thinking involved!

So this led me to think I want to rephrase that little line. What should it be? I’m feeling you? I feel you? I feel about you?

Or maybe just a simple: I’m here. With which I mean: I’m here with you, in the now, on that feeling-level.

Suggestions are welcome! Yes, please!

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Friend: Tomorrow I will have a talk at work. Maybe my CEO will be there too.

Me: Would you like him present?

I am so prejudiced… 😦

(But I guess it’s more about being aware of that yourself than anything else… I don’t believe it is possible to purge yourself of every prejudice, since they are a natural side effect of having experiences. And isn’t that what life is about? Having experiences and choosing how to (re)act on those experiences?)

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Today I had a good experience; apparently I learned something without actively pursuing it, which is — to state it lightly — a new experience for me.

I was in a compliment-avalanche with someone I had just met that day (don’t ask, it came quite naturally, really 🙂 ) and at a certain moment, after he had done something that had required some gathering up courage and pushing oneself across a threshold, I complimented him on his win.

He looked at me and I saw him skip the compliment to proceed to the next topic, moment, feeling or whatever it was that occurred at that moment. I decided this was a guy that can handle the remarks that I sometimes can’t help making, so I stopped him and said: “Wait. Hold on. First accept the compliment.”

He stopped, looked at me, and said (I’m paraphrasing, but it was something in line of): “That’s funny. I had realized you were doing that earlier. You take a moment to accept a compliment and then you go on.”

Now, this in itself, although it is a very nice interaction, is cool. But what was even cooler was that I had decided quite some time ago, that I wanted to take a moment to accept a compliment when someone would give me one, without shame, without excuses, without anything other than let it be and accept it. (I could go on that in our times it’s not normal to just accept compliments, but I’ll leave it for now).

The point is, that even without actively TRYING, I somehow managed to internalize that. 0.0. I didn’t even know I was doing that and I just did. Never knew I was capable of learning things without being overly conscious of it! I like how I can still surprise myself after all those years :).

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To other people, I look like a busy bee.

I always have something to do, I’m always doing at least 5 projects at the same time, I have a zillion hobbies, all of which I seem to pursue, and I have a lot of appointments.

Beneath that surface, though, is a life that is actually pretty comfortable. Yes, I work hard (most of the time) and yes, there are times that I am more on the move than at home. But quite often, I have a lazy evening on the couch almost every day of the week.

I think it’s all about setting priorities. No matter how big my to do list, if a friend needs my help or a listening ear, I will gladly provide him/her with it. It’s just more important in my life. Work can wait.

(more…)

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We have all these beautiful people surrounding us, yet we insist on solving things by ourselves and being alone.

There’s one word that’s been coming up lately. Trust. And I decided to dedicate not one, but three (yes, three!) blogposts to it. For the other ones, click on these links: Trust that my friends will want to support me, Trust that my friends will want to spend time with me.

Trust that my friends will (want to) help me

I always thought I was a patient person. I always thought I was good at trusting other people to do the tasks that were assigned to them. Turns out I’ve got some more learning to do.

This is where I came from. I was brought up seeing people not wanting to ask for help. I’m so very proud of my mom, who let us do almost all the cooking over Christmas! I’ve been surrounded by people most of my life who solve everything by themselves.

I’ve come to see that asking for help is not something to be ashamed of. (more…)

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