My thoughts this week are leading me to reflect about relationships – not the close kind, but more the next level of social relationships.
I know that we are encouraged to accept ourselves as we are and to be authentic. What if the people I am interacting with don’t like the “authentic” me? I have often been encouraged to “lighten up” due to my tendency to think deeply about things and to be reflective.
I have learnt over time that some conversations are not welcome in certain audiences. This is part of living in a social society. In most cases I wouldn’t worry about it, but in some situations it is important to build rapport with people we work with and do business with each day. Our families are good examples of how we are all uniquely different but we find ways (hopefully) to relate and to value that person.
One of the most obvious difference is between introverts and extroverts. I like to be social but feel much more comfortable in peace and quiet and reading a good book. Can you relate to that?
Then there are our political ideologies that can cause, if allowed, a rift or wedge between people. I do like working with people who have a similar ideology to me as our values are more likely to align.
There is another factor: those who drink and those who don’t. I don’t drink, however, that is a personal choice and I don’t put that onto anyone else. However if my boss and colleagues have a really strong drinking culture, I may not get along with the boss as well as his or her drinking buddies. I may not progress in my career as well as some others.
How far do I go in modifying my behaviour to make sure I am not isolated in our society, families and workplaces? No doubt there are different levels of compromise in various situations. After all, being loved and accepted is important to all of us.
To turn this topic inside-out, I also need to reflect on my level of acceptance of others and their differences to me. This reminds me of a quote (source unknown) that goes something like this: “When we can see ourselves in others, and others in ourselves, we can understand true compassion”.
That’s all for today – let’s celebrate our differences 🙂