Monday, November 12, 2007

An Amazing Discovery

All in an instance, the world can have a new look to it. My perspective can change so quickly that the difference can be shocking. I have had an experience like this recently. I have always struggled with interpersonal relationships. I just am bad at them. I realize the intense work that is needed to nurture and care for them, and in all honesty, find myself too lazy to put the needed effort into them. But the other day, I had a 'revelation' if you will. My husband and I were chatting and he showed me how he gets to know someone. He took me step by step through the process. The entire process focuses on the hope of finding someone that you can share something with. For example, what is important to my husband is finding someone he can game with, particularly D&D. His process then, focuses on finding someone like that. Mine will be a bit different, but will follow the same general pattern. When you look at it it is so freaking easy. Why didn't anyone tell me about this before?

Step One:
Test outgoing-ness
When you meet someone new, you take to watch and observe first to see how outgoing they are. Do they talk to you? Are they friendly with others? Or do they keep to themselves? If they are outgoing enough, you can move on to the next step. If they are not outgoing, it may take much longer to get to the next step.

Step Two:
Basic get-to-know-you questions
These are questions that you can ask when you are working side by side that are non-evasive. For example, 'what do you like to do for fun?' It is an open ended question, so however they answer it will tell you a lot about that person. Depending on if it is something you can relate to, you can move on to the next step. If it is something you cannot relate to, it may take longer to move to the next step. Take some time and try to find a way to relate it to someting you enjoy.

Step Three:
Focused questions
Obviously, these questions focus more directly on getting to know the person and whether you share the common interest you are looking for. Again, these are open ended, so just watch, wait, and listen.

At the end of this process, you have found out if this person shares a common interest with you, an interest that is important to you. Depending on the person, this process can take minutes, days, weeks, months, or years. Ideally, you want this process to take a bit of time. More time means you get to know that person more. Too little time means you haven't really gotten to know the person, just have found out they share a common interest. So, it is a process. But for me, this is an amazing discovery. I have always felt lost when meeting new people whether at work or school. This process kind of gives me a direction at least.

This process is not fool-proof. Use your intuition. If something about a person bothers you, don't try to force liking them or force a connection. You want it to be natural. Also, there may be other things about this person that completely cancels the whole process. Trust yourself.

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