How’s that headline to catch your attention? Actually, I was sorting through my ‘old’ youtube videos and came across an oldie but goodie on “Do You Expect People to Fit Your Idea of How They Should Be?” and it is still relevant today, 5 years later.
Especially during the “age of the quarantine”, I feel like we have stopped appreciating people for who they really are. We only see the highlight reel of people’s lives on social media- and it’s usually not deep or personal about what is really going on in their life.
We don’t take the time to slow down and SEE people for who they are.
So why do we expect people to meet our expectations? I’m guilty of this myself and part of the reason, I think, is that we don’t take the time to slow down and SEE people for who they are.
We so easily forget that everyone has a story, a struggle, and fears just like us. We assume they will never understand what we are going through, so we don’t open up.
Part of getting to know people is letting people get to know us. I know sometimes I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, and I keep to myself more. I focus on my business, and my client’s needs and I forget that I’m a total extrovert with needs too. One trick that I keep up my sleeve is: when I feel like I’m SUPER stressed, busy, or disconnected, I take a walk in nature. There’s a place I enjoy just up the street from where I live called Winnekenni Park. In the middle of the neighborhoods, highways, buildings, and businesses, there are 700 acres of pure nature. Most places have something to retreat to. Your own location likely does, too.
I need real human interaction. Even my introverted wife needs this. She just needs it differently than me. You see typically extroverts love the small talk and just interaction can satisfy the natural need for being around people. So for me, I need to work on actually digging deeper. Jenny, my wife doesn’t interact with many people but the people she does interact with she has deeper, more meaningful relationships with. So her strength is having a few solid deep relationships. She has told me she would like to be a bit more vulnerable and less closed off to the rest of the population.
How are you REALLY doing?
One thing I have learned is when you ask someone how they are doing, the autoresponse is “fine, thank you”, or “I’m OK, how are you”. But if you slow down and take time to actually care about the person you’re greeting, and when they give you that auto response- reply with “No, I mean how are you REALLY doing?” You’ll notice it disarms them and allows them to slow down too. They will hear that you are genuine and really want to know. And they will more than likely tell you how they are doing! (Just be ready for this, you need time to be able to listen!).
So, my challenge this week is a simple one. I’m talking to myself first and foremost, but also my team and business partners. Focus on listening, respecting, caring, and appreciating people for who they are and not who we expect them to be. Let’s see how this changes our lives, business, client relationships, and stress! We don’t know half of what people are REALLY going through. But if we listen, we might know more. Build connections with each other, and rely less on social media to dictate our relationships.
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts today. As you likely know by now, the title of this post is 100% what I want to stop doing. I hope it can inspire you to be your authentic self and succeed in your own way. Be YOU and don’t let other’s expectations tell you who you should be!
Success is a Choice!
PS: if you want a laugh, check out the youtube video that inspired this post. It was made in 2015 and I never actually made it public. “Drive Time With Aaron” haha.