I am an introvert who graves human connection. This was true even when I was young. Sometimes, I used to stare out the window with envy at the neighborhood kids who looked so happy playing all the best kid street games that required minimal equipment. In additional, these short breaks staring out the window happen a few times a day while babysitting my 4 siblings which made these visual escapes so memorable. Also, in school on the inside I wanted to hang out with that group or student but was socially awkward & on the outside it might have come across as being struck up or weak. I believe I attracted attention of others in similar pains but who express their awkwardness in an aggressive matter aka bullying. This may sound like playing the victim to some but to me it’s looking at it in a self-analyzing matter to find the sources of my inferior complex. The more victim stance would be the one i had before which was i used to think I was bullied because of my Hispanic ethnicity in a majority African-American community. Fast forward to my teenage years, I used alcohol & weed to socialize with others & the positive feedback of being the coolest re-enforce the emotional positives of it & lesser the emotional negatives I learned & believed from the DARE school class. Thereafter when I became a young adult, my desire for connection with alcohol as my social clutch brought me in the clubs. Here I realize I can also approach woman without the fear of rejection.
After my reflection on the above & more I realize the source reason behind it all; i grave human connection but to various degrees felt inferior or self-conscious about starting or really engaging when I had the opportunities. My self-reflection causes me to finally deeply feel how important it is to get out my comfort zone & try to nourish my desire to connect with others. As a result, I have been doing my research, learning from, & passionately focus on connecting & being in the moment with other human beings lately. This is some of the current thrives & thoughts processes I experienced.
When I’m out & about I take my time to find the little ways to be kind to others, it could be holding the door open for 3-4 people walking out the a public merchant, saying hello with a genuine smile, striking up conservation instead of balls deep in my phone. I am also on Meals on Wheels driver waiting list to give back & hope in additional I will be able to socialize with the older generations. I am also hoping Vacia will experience a better role model for connecting with others.
At work, I have experienced a big change in my co-worker interactions. When before as an assistant manager I was always kind to others & said “ good morning”. Now I see those interactions were superficial & shallow because of my lack of true effort to connect. Now I take the time to ask questions to get to actually know them, what inspires them, what they love, & I could go on & on. Now I notice they take time to connect with me when I get to work with the most beautiful one-of-kind good morning with a bright contagious smile that only each of my beautifully unique co-workers can express. We both have better communications with expressing business-related concerns & help needed during overwhelming times. It has also given me powerful personal motivation & insights that I will go over next.
As expressed, being more empathetic & “in the moment” with my co-workers have given me other motivation & insights. One of the funniest ones was with this older co-worker. We had connected with each other in a few months. I told him I kept putting off wrapping Christmas presents for almost a week now & he started asking every day for 3 days, “did you wrap them yet?”. Finally the 3rd night I wrapped those manifestations of procrastination aka presents motivated by the enthusiasm of being able to say with the biggest ear-to-ear smile“ good morning unnamed! I wrapped them!”
In additional, through my efforts to connect with other leaders, I got eye-opening insights on how they approach daily fires & why. I also learned a better leader mindset to keep the stresses from sudden fires rolling off my shoulder like I was in the song by Jay-Z, “Dirt of your Shoulder.” Moreover, through really empathizing to other’s concerns, I learned that I am not alone in the most powerful way as we are in physical & emotional connection without guards put up by ego.
I have been thriving also taking the time to listen what other social media friends are expressing about themselves with their posts & find appreciation in what they are sharing. Also, at the same time reach out to them with DMs of appreciation & curiosity fueled by what they posted.
All these experiences & insights are also an awesome topic for daddy/daughter discussions over dinners but that is another blog or podcast all together.
In conclusion, I am finally going from graving human connection to appreciating all the opportunities to connect with less & less anxiety & worry. My next focus is to find opportunities to connect with others outside of work & make time to connect with my family & friends. I envision myself able to freely without the weights of anxiety & worry approach others who I am curious about. I see myself able to resolve disagreements with empathy & win/win goals. I envision my daughter being confident in her approach with others because she saw profound examples with discussions after. I see myself alongside my adult daughter introducing me to powerful public figures & I confidently & enthusiastically shake their hand with piercing but warming eye contact. I envision myself meeting my role models, Tony Robbins, Dave Kerpen, & Gary Vee because of my newfound confident persistence with reaching out to them & others. I hope you found thought-provoking insights from my deep self-reflection detailed to this blog & welcome your thoughts. Thank you for “listening” & empathizing.