Building Community Through Better Relationships

Is That Really Me?

A local organiztion engaged me to write website biographies for their leadership team and staff. The team is both gifted and passionate. As part of the organization’s rebranding, it needed professional help describing the talent that execute their unique mission. After interviewing a key staffer, then submitting her biography, she delightfully squealed, “Is that really me? I want to meet that person!”

Accepting the compliment, I explained that I simply took her comments, then presented them back to her with respect, esteem and a few clever phrases. I told her story, I did not change her character. However, our exchange subtly reminded me that someone’s personal lens can distort their own self-perception. For example, a tall high school tennis champion looks in her mirror and privately sees an awkward loner. The class valedictorian sees her as an athletic goddess who would never want to be seen with him or his GPA. The result is that they daily walk past each other in the hall avoiding eye contact. Both are simultaneously thinking that the other is so cool, but would never be interested in someone like me. Unfortunately, this dynamic extends beyond students.

Marianne Williamson shares in “Our Greatest Fear” that, “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” Far too often, individuals fixate on their flaws. Their “realistic” assessment is that they need improvement. Maybe they do. Meanwhile, their true friends implicitly and explicitly remind them how wonderful they are. These friends choose to share their precious life with the self-proclaimed, flawed individual. The individual’s common response is often, “You are just saying that because you are my friend.” But, why are they friends in the first place??? Considering the six billion plus people on the planet, these friends have options! You have friends because you are worthy!! Your friends’ lenses are valid, too. Maybe more so!

As for individuals who do not have others positively pouring in their perceptions, I have two examinations for you. First, examine the good points of your personality and character. Since these are your good points, you get to pick the ones that you like. Second, start examining the other six billion people in the world that are not currently connected to you. You can start in your immediate community, but do not stop there. Upon acknowledging your good qualities, you can then identify others who recognize, respect and esteem those qualities. Make the time to search until you find and connect with people who like the individual that is really you!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter and Beyond


November 27, 2013 - Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , ,

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