First impressions aside, people who refuse to show me their vulnerable side bother me.
I’m not asking for them to pour their hearts out when they converse with me. Nor am I asking for them to get personal to prove their humbleness. But if they lack the ability to interact with me as a human being on the simplest, most unprofessional level, we might as well be a different species.
I’m doing an internship for a 26-year-old woman who remains impenetrable. Whenever I sit across from her, listening to her mechanical recitation of my duties, I ask myself, “Why such professionalism in her speech?”
Granted, I am here to work for her, but everything she says is so ludicrously rehearsed that I am left thinking she is more a computer than a real human being.
I’m not a fan of pretenses. If humans naturally bond together in a state of emergency, why are they so standoffish in the absence of one?
Sure, we all come from different backgrounds and do things our own way. By no means am I asking for us to reach out to all who come our way. Let’s face it—we do have our own lives to attend to.
But somewhere, in all of us, exists a vulnerable self that, when shown, is more attractive and reassuring than any other human trait imaginable.
If you can’t participate in that commonality, you are taking yourself too seriously. More opportunities for productive interaction exists when people don’t take themselves too seriously.
Maybe this is why I had such a problem with high school. Jocks and cheerleaders put on the infamous “untouchable” cape and paraded around as if they were everybody’s dream.
Well, they actually were a dream. Not mine, by any stretch. But because they were the farthest thing from being “real,” I consider the label appropriate.
The people that go through their days unable to relate to others on a human level represent, to me, an incredibly pathetic percent of our society that have no semblance for the vitality of human relations.
If everyone were like them, a robotic-like conduction of business would take over our daily lives and the only laugh that would escape our lips would be the artificial kind you let out when you don’t really understand someone but want to make them feel better anyway.
And if you make a mistake, please laugh at yourself and acknowledge your limits. The ability to laugh at yourself is a virtue—it shows others that, not only are you able to see when you have made a mistake, but also that you are smart enough to learn and advance yourself from it.
I currently have two people in mind, both admirably intelligent. One is capable of identifying his weaknesses; the other, well, I worry when he last realized that he sits on the toilet like everyone else.
At day’s end, we are all facing similar struggles that naturally come from being alive—struggles over the self, partners, friends and family, money matters and status ladders. There is absolutely no need to pretend that, beneath the edge of our consciousness, some scale of our worth exists that gives us the right to promote polarization.
Stop being superficial and start connecting with others. Not just for them, but for your own gratification. Let people in and don’t be afraid to put off the impression that you are human.