Who are you?
Question on mind this afternoon: Who are you? When you’re introducing yourself to someone new, how do you sum yourself up?
I just hung up with the most delightful woman in Georgia who inspired me to question how I talk and think about myself. In her intro she said, “I’m a 62 year old teacher who’s had two strokes.” Turns out she’s an enthusiastic and passionate business woman with a strong love of God. There was nothing 62 about her, or teacher, or strokes. That’s not who she is. That might be what she’s doing (or did), but not remotely who she is.
So that struck me as an interesting way to identify yourself. Age, occupation, medical status.
Yes, I know it makes a difference in who we’re talking to, what the context is, etc.
(Or does it?)
Over the weekend I met a great guy who introduced himself as a former stockbroker who got tired of making money off people. And another guy who introduced himself as a caretaker of two Brittany Spaniels whose obsession with paragliding made for enormous relationship challenges. And a woman who introduced herself by stating the neighborhood she lived in.
How do you think about yourself? What do you tell other people when you want to give them an idea of who you are? And how careful are you in manipulating their assessment of you?
I realized my intro varies greatly depending on who I’m talking to. What does THAT say? That I’m making judgments or assumptions about you, what your interest level is, how much I care to reveal, etc. And that’s perfectly fine, I guess. But am I shortchanging you? Or more importantly, myself? Perhaps creating myself to be who I’m introducing myself as?
How can that NOT be the case, when my word creates my world?
I mean, who I REALLY think I am isn’t something I’ve ever said to anyone, let alone in an intro upon first meeting. (Lover of Life. I can’t imagine a better way to sum it up.) But others hear “I’m an Attraction Coach,” “a dog lover,” “a refugee from the corporate world,” “happily divorced,” “a foster mom,” “writer,” etc.
How limiting is it to respond out of social conventions?
What if instead I said, “I’m an explorer of the joys of planet earth,” or “an adventurer in our time/space illusion,” or … oh, I’ve got it: “I’m here for a good time.”
I expect how I talk about myself, especially when it’s out of alignment with how I think about myself, will change something. Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!