When it comes to friendships, I feel like I have a number of people in my circle that I feel comfortable enough to pick up conversations months (or years) after we’ve last spoken. Last night I spoke to my friend Chuck, and we talked online for 2 hours as if the past 10-15 years never came between our last in person talk. How you develop these kids of people in your life takes a genuine interest outside of any personal needs and really seeking to know and understand what’s going on in the other person’s life.
I’ve been fortunate enough that I have many different circles of friends and people based on my interests. As a result of having a common bond with music, with bowling, with writing, with adoption, with sports, etc.- I feel it’s easier to get to know all about the total person, and hopefully be introduced to something new, fresh and exciting. I love hearing what’s going on with other people- how they got into their career choices, how their family and friends are doing, what they want to accomplish in the future, where they see themselves headed.
It’s tougher for me at work to create these bonds, as I work solo in my particular department. I’ve been able to develop smaller contact with people on my shift that float around my work station, in bite sized 15-20 minute portions. Being that we all have our own responsibilities at the hospital, I rarely gain the chance to socialize with them outside of the work setting. I think it’s taken me longer to get to know many of my hospital co-workers, but I still believe in making the effort, as we all work together as a team to make our workplace special.
Making memories to me involves caring, concern for the other people, and the desire to step outside of yourself for the sake of a good relationship. If you monopolize 80% of the conversation to talk solely about yourself and your life, many people become disinterested and feel like they are talking to a wall. We have two ears, two eyes and one mouth for a definite purpose- we must pay attention attentively in order to retain and process what we’ve heard. There’s nothing worse than humans feeling like they have to repeat basic information 2-3 times within a short conversation.
In this busy life we lead, be sure to take time for friendships and unhurried conversations. If you feel fear about developing relationships, seek out extra help from sources like Toastmasters International or books like How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Swim With the Sharks by Harvey MacKay, Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins, Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi or The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. Study people who seem at ease with talking and observe how conversations flow with them. Take them out to a meal and ask them questions so you can soak in their insight and great wisdom.
One of my bowling friends had an interesting observation about the multitude of ways to entertain ourselves in today’s computer driven, digital society. We have more forms of entertainment than ever before, and we don’t have to leave the comfort of our homes to access most of them. As a result, I think many lose the art of face to face human contact and connection. Remember to make memories not just over internet lines- get out in the world and surround yourself with people.
We are all given the same 24 hours a day to use as best as we can. In the long run, possessions come and go- memories stay for a lifetime.