We tend to view the world from our own lens and rightly so.
So how does being built for human connection actually play out?
In my eyes relationships are an endless conversation. You pick up next time exactly where you left off previously.
But in my experience that rarely happens.
Factors such as effort, memory and focus determine the quality of exchange.
If one person puts in the energy, but the other doesn’t it ceases to grow.
If one person forgets where you left off, the next interaction is like meeting a stranger for the first time.
If one person has an agenda or task needed to be accomplished, it’s merely a one-time transaction.
I admit when my goal is to know someone deeper I put in the effort. I don’t always succeed, but most of the time I do.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, he uses the term “thin slicing” to make quick judgement of people. It’s a form of stereotyping, but it’s how our minds create schema.
It’s at the crux of how we decide to proceed.
In some cases people don’t have the soft skills to connect effectively. Technology is somewhat to blame, but intention, empathy and practice carry more weight.
Task-driven people believe others exist as a means to accomplish their ends.
Relationship-driven folk view people as an end in itself.
Similar to an ambivert, you can be both, but usually you lean more towards one side than the other.
Neither is better, but your personal life reveals which position is more important.
I joke with my friends that online dating has killed relationships, but that could be a generational preference. The reason I go there is because if I met my wife through a dating site, how much risk would I take getting to know her? (If the answers are already revealed, what’s the fun in discovery?)
Don’t get me wrong, I am more introverted than extroverted, so my goal isn’t to become close to everyone I meet. In fact I choose quality over quantity, so when I intend to “invest” in someone I dive in head-first not knowing if there’s actually water in the pool.
Is that reckless behavior? Possibly.
But then again it’s my life, not yours.
No risk. No Reward. That’s how I see it.