Meaningful connections and valuing friends for their values
If you’ve read my social skills exercises series you know I avoid asking people what they do for a living. Instead I make meaningful connections about what people care about.
An interesting side-effect of creating relationships based on what people care about instead of asking the same what-do-you-do-where-are-you-from-how-many-brothers-and-sisters-do-you-have-read-any-good-books-lately questions that get the same thoughtless answers is that sometimes I develop deep friendships with people never knowing what they do for a living. Usually if someone cares anything about their job they’ll tell you, but if they don’t it may never come up. Or if you enjoy each other’s company so much you never get around to business, you never get around to business.
People who love how they earn money you don’t have to ask because it will come out in their passions. People who don’t love how they earn money it doesn’t help to ask them because you’re bringing up something they don’t value. The result of not asking questions everyone else does? You end up with more meaningful connections and relationships.
Sometimes you end up saying deeply meaningful and/or friendly things. I thought about such a case the other day and thought I’d write it up.
I have a friend deeply impassioned about her life calling. She’s taking classes now to get into graduate school, where she’ll work for years before getting to do what she wants every day. I find this self-awareness and dedication inspiring and attractive. Not many people can say no to as many good things as she does to have a great life.
One time I said something to her I was proud to hear come out of my mouth:
If you ever want me out of your life it’s easy. Just give up your dreams.
I don’t know how that sounds to others or out of context. In context it said I cared about her for the choices she made based on the values she had and lived by. I think I can accurately say she was touched by it.
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