My daughter, Jordan, and I were talking one day about personality traits we have. She is very social and extroverted but she told me on the other side, she is also introverted. She says she must “prepare” for the social outing and then she can be “on.” We talked about how when we get our eyelashes done, she will sleep through it, and I talk the whole time. I explained that she is missing out on learning and experiencing by not talking. Now there’s nothing wrong with her preference, except after our talk, she had a conversation the next visit and really enjoyed it!
She tells me I can’t go anywhere without having people share their experiences and connecting with me…what a great compliment! I have a type A personality and I LOVE hearing people’s stories. I have learned so much through just starting a conversation with strangers and we always have such an amazing time on our mother/daughter trips because of this need I have to talk to everyone. The biggest take away I want you to have from this is to remember we are all intertwined and the old adage “everyone crosses your path for a reason” is very true. We are meant to connect, interact, help, love, and listen to each other.
You don’t know what you’re missing because you don’t KNOW what you’re missing!
Here are some things I challenge each of you to do this week:
- When you are busy this week, running errands- Look around you. When you’re pumping gas, grocery shopping, eating a restaurant, look at the people and think about their story. What could their lives be like? Is there someone who is angry? Sad? Can you open a door for them? Give them a compliment or just say Hi, Have a great day! You’d be surprised how much a small gesture can change someone’s day.
- Look at your family, coworkers, and friends and say, “How is everything? Is there anything you’d like to talk about?” Acknowledging another person’s existence and experience lets them know someone cares and is interested. The suicide rate has increased dramatically in the last 10 yrs… I believe it’s because those who took their lives didn’t think anyone cared or had no one to listen and share their sadness and struggle with.
Pay attention to your surroundings- I mean REALLY pay attention. I have a new thing that I do… during the day, when I’m stressed or feel overwhelmed, I go sit or lie in my grass in the yard. Don’t laugh! It’s so relaxing and makes me remember how small my problems are. I listen to the birds, feel the wind, see the clouds and just breathe. It’s just a small thing that helps me regroup. Go to a park after work to decompress, take your dog to a dog park, take a walk around your neighborhood… anything that gives you a few moments of peace and tranquility.