What draws you to another person can say a lot about your own morals and values. In order to garner a better sense of self and understand what makes us tick, we can take a closer look at the connections we’ve made and dissect why we’ve made them. Why do we enjoy the company of some more than others? We can also take a look at what attracts us to another person when we first meet them. Do we look primarily at the interior—are we drawn to their mind, their heart, their life perspective—or the exterior? Would we rather associate with someone who is physically attractive, wealthy, or well-known?
The next time you are engaged in a meaningful conversation with someone you care about, or perhaps are just meeting for the first time, think about what you enjoy about this person. What is it that makes this connection meaningful?
This may be particularly important to ponder during that initial conversation. This could be a potential partnership or friendship, a new colleague or cohort. When engaging in first-time conversations we often make judgments more quickly than we like to admit. We like the way this person dresses or we don’t. We like the way they talk, or we don’t. We like their sense of style, how they interact with others or the environment around them, etc.
After you’ve returned to a quiet space later in the day, note mentally what you noticed and why. Maybe you actually had no idea what this new acquaintance was wearing or how they talked. Maybe you felt a positive intangible vibe between the two of you or something seemed odd and you just can’t put your finger on it. Did you find their words genuine or did their body language seem insincere?
Why is this important? The way we judge others, especially when the judgments are more objective than subjective, says a lot about who we try to be. It’s more difficult to examine how we feel about a family member or friend we’ve known our whole life than it is someone brand new. So, figuring out what passed through our mind during an early initial meeting or two will offer insight into how our subconscious is operating and why we present the way we do.
Do you note primarily physical, mental, emotional or behavioral traits? Would you want this individual to note the same traits in you? Do you spend more time actively listening to others or interjecting your opinion? Do you like to spend extra time on your own appearance when meeting someone new? Why or why not?
If you’ve ever been in an abusive attachment, you probably understand how important it is to look beyond the physical and take note of the person’s heart. Some, unfortunately, learn this the hard way. But once you make the mistake of trusting someone who didn’t deserve it, you are forever more careful to consider what’s hidden beneath the surface.
Do the intentions of another seem genuine? Do they have depth? Are they really interested in getting to know you, or are they more interested in having you? In order to avoid re-entering a detrimental situation, we must ensure we are not caught up in the superficial.
Also consider whether you are being genuine with this person or trying to project a false sense of self. Are you interested in what they have to say, or are you trying to make them get to know you? In order to avoid re-entering a toxic situation, it is also important to understand where we stand.
Of course, someone can legitimately have it all—the looks, the personality, and a good heart. Just make sure you understand the difference between having everything and pretending to have everything. And always remember to stick to your morals and what’s important to you.
No one is perfect. It’s important to see through a false projection of perfection, and to not hold someone to unachievable standards at the same time. After all, we would want others to accept our own imperfections without having to pretend they don’t exist. The most meaningful connections are those that are the most real from the very start.