There are people you meet in business or online (or both) over the years that go into a relationship.
And that relationship builds over shared experiences in both tough times and in good times.
You may follow them on Twitter and Tumblr, see pictures of their friends and loved ones, read their posts and you get a bit closer and closer. I know I feel closer to some people this way.
But there is nothing like breaking bread & opening up to really get to know someone.
The other day I had a meal with someone i’ve done business with for years. He’s someone that has created a bunch of great things and should be very proud of his work.
And just when I thought i knew him after all these years, i got his life story. Not the one on Linkedin or on some professional bio. I got the real deal.
Absolutely inspiring and I was extremely moved. That he was able to overcome so many challenges in his life to get to this place. In a way I admired him more for keeping those adversities close and not wearing them on his sleeve. I was also touched that he shared those stories with me too.
The thing I’ve been thinking about since that meal is how much we take for granted about people all around us. We assume we know them. We can’t imagine or aren’t mindful of the struggles they have had to face in their life. We dont’ take into consideration the personal demons they are dealing with every day. We don’t think about them fully as people.
I suspect if we did we would be more considerate to each other and have a more impactful and healthy relationship.
At the very least we would take an extra moment, take a breath and listen more to each other.
And then we would really get to know that friend or coworker that we’ve “known” all those years.