Over the past 18 months I’ve had the opportunity to study how relationships are born and developed. Since leaving an industry that I spent 15 years in and starting from scratch in a new city, I’ve learned that the one thing that is critical in relationship development is time. Having spent so much time in one industry and knowing so many people, it was easy to get connected to the right people and it was easy for those people to check you out because you have numerous connections in common. What happens when you’re starting from scratch and nobody knows you? That is what I’ve had the opportunity to explore on this journey.
So, if time is a critical, if not the most critical, element in relationship development, why are we so impatient? Why do we push so hard for people to make decisions about us, or visa versa, why do we make snap decisions on people before we really get to know them? Some people have a rough exterior but are pussy cats on the inside, and others are so nice on the outside but deep down they are 100% shark, or sharks dressed as dolphins. We rely so much on first impressions but many times that first impression is wrong. We worry if people like us, but in the end we should be wondering if we like them.
I’ve found that the more time I invest in relationships the more I learn. The more I understand myself and study others the more I gain an appreciation for them. All of this takes time, the one thing that we often don’t give relationships. I know that I’ve written a lot about how challenging the past year has been for me, my family and especially my ego. My last blog post was about surrender and giving up our own plan for the one that life is putting in front of us. For me, relationship development is something that I’ve taken for granted. It’s something that I assumed everyone knows how to do. I was wrong!
I meet people every day that are guarded, they don’t let people in because they’ve been taught to be afraid, or they’ve been taught that their introverts so they shouldn’t interact with others because they need their downtime. I meet people that want to be everyone’s best friend, which I find extremely challenging no matter how nice we are. I have found that time, the passage of time and the time needed to establish deep, long lasting relationships is missing from many lives. I have also found that most of the people that I meet don’t know what type of people they are looking for, what are the attributes of people that they connect deeply with.
I spend a lot of time in reflection, even when I’m with people. I’m try really hard to be present when I’m with others these days (that was not always true), but there is our subconscious that is connecting dots for us all the time. I get chills in my body even when it’s not cold. I used to ignore those feelings and now I listen to my body. To me, I believe that’s my subconscious working for me. The more time I give to introspection about this issue, the more effective I become in my life. As I gain more peace, which is something I believe we’re all trying to find, I am able to develop deeper connections because I’m present with them and just trying to get to know them. There’s no agenda, no looking for prospects or looking for new business. Each encounter is a unique experience to get to know another person and not make it about me.
Typing the words “not make it about me” just caused me to pause. This, which only time has allowed me to see, is the biggest shift that’s happening in my life. The back cover of Success Redefined say “What Happens When You Transform From Me to We?” The past 53 plus years, our global travel and meeting thousands of people from all different cultures has given me some perspective about what’s most important, and time is the best teacher. Being aware and looking for signals, looking for opportunities to be better, to learn from others, to be our best knowing that there is nobody else in the world exactly like us. I continually ask why we were put on this earth and what is it that we were meant to contribute? I believe time is a critical element and the more we focus on helping others get what they want, the more we will get everything that we need!
To a life well lived 🙂