We all need to know how to cultivate a relationship, especially when it comes to business.
Typically substantial research is conducted on the person of interest- your job is to dig deep both professionally and personally.
My question to you is...
Do you do that with personal relationships?
I guess the whole thought came to me today as I was indulging in my second love - Coffee. I was sitting with my sister at a local coffee cafe downtown called Roasted, and as we were discussing our jobs and potential donors and proposals pending.. and it hit me... what would I find if I were to research myself?
How could someone cultivate my friendship/relationship/business expertise?
Which then made me think of the non-negotiables in my life. The things that are truly important to me.
Okay.. game on.
I am not an easy person to get to know. Not in person. Yes, I am friendly when we meet and yes, I can be a talker.. if I meet the right people with the right chemistry, and I HAVE to be in a good, caffeinated mood. But what really makes me tick? What is at the core of who I am? Those things that get me to open my eyes a little wider, smile a little more, and quickly start rambling... because folks, if you truly have my interest - I make direct eye contact. If I am bored, or uncomfortable or simply not agreeing with you.. I don't focus, I pick up my car keys or phone and I look for a quick escape route.
If you want the keys to my heart or friendship (which are one in the same...) make sure to brush up on the following subjects:
- I'm a bleeding heart liberal. There.. I said it. I wasn't always this way, but I am now. I am super compassionate when it comes to human rights/civil rights. Regardless of my religious dogma - if someone or something is holding the other back by means that stifle their dignity, freedom and basic rights, I will fly off the handle. I get quite passionate about this subject. I keep up with the pleas for social justice on Amnesty International's website. Want to get me talking for hours - pick a human injustice subject and watch me ramble.
- Animal Rights. Oh my goodness... I am CRAZY about protecting our furry friends. No, I'm not the crazy cat lady, nor do I think a dog is my "baby".. but I am hypersensitive to the treatment of our animals. Zoos are slightly cruel in my opinion. I even feel bad for our fish friends in the aquariums.. but I do understand what we can learn by watching them in a controlled habitat... ooops... wait... there I go...
- Organic Living. I think the best way to live is by consuming organic, clean foods. I am against harmful pesticides, genetically engineered fruits and veggies, monoculture farming, and cruelty to farm animals.
- Understanding your genetic risk factors. I could talk for hours about understanding your health. Look, I'll be the first to say I struggle with following the "rules" of healthy living, but I like being informed. I think everyone should know at the very least their cholesterol, their blood sugar level, their blood pressure, and know if their triglycerides are high. Understand your BMI.
- READ. I am a voracious reader. Sure.. sometimes the books are just crap, but I always have SOMETHING to read. People who do not read.. honestly... turn me off completely. Yes, I judge.
- Expose yourself to the arts. My mom and sister are artists. My dad is a calligrapher. My sister and I write. My sister and I were involved in community theater. I was a dancer. You want to light my heart on fire? Talk to me about the arts. We'll be best friends for life.
- Be passionate about SOMETHING. Okay.. I sometimes talk badly about my ex's love of NASCAR, but the truth is.. at least he was passionate about something. I am blown away by people who have NO interests. Even if it is as simple as maintaining perfect nails (like my friend Lisa,) have something that is uniquely YOUR thing.
- Love to cook..or experiment with food. I love to try new recipes and I like having dinner parties.
- Play a board game? Then that's another way to guarantee I'll show up at your house.
- Foreign films, documentaries and horror flicks. Three of my favorite things to consume. Yes, I said consume.
- I love to write. My blog, though it is not award winning or even close to being grammatically correct half of the time ... IT IS MY PASSION. One way to get on my good side, read my blog. If you are a friend, and you have not at least tried to scan it before we meet up, and you tell me, "I have no idea what's going on in your life." I suddenly think, well..... hmmmm....
- Putting down the egyptian is off limits. Look - I know my relationship with my other half is less than perfect. Not even close. But do NOT bash. It doesn't fly with me. I know what's up, and unless I ask you a direct question or request your opinion- zip it. I'll deal with it in my own way in my own time. It takes me a LOOOOONG time to make a decision, especially the big ones, and I am super careful not to make any mistakes. I'll be okay. I use my blog as a place to vent and leave it here. Saying you worry for me is one thing.. but bashing him is another.
- Understand that
- I don't like advice on losing weight.
- I love discussing religion. Seriously. BTW - I am catholic. A very liberal catholic.
- I live for music. I do! I listen to all kinds of music.
- I LOVE to go dancing, but only like dancing if there are a lot of other people dancing. Types of nights I enjoy? Good music, good vibes and GREAT dancing.
- I love being a tourist. I love to travel. Tell me about all of the amazing places you have been. Ask me questions about my favorite places.
- I love taking pictures. No, I am NOT a photographer, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE capturing moments and telling a story with them. If you like my pics, tell me. It means a lot. Do not be that weird person saying you hate having your pic taken. If you do - then don't get anywhere near me, because I am always packing a camera.
- I love social media. I could talk about it and the impact it has made on society for hours.
- I am very, VERY proud of the work I have done in my life. Ask me about my career and I will love you.
- Family is important to me, but I typically have an identity outside of my family.
- My friendships mean a lot to me. I have a handful of super close friends that know EVERYTHING. I am fiercely loyal - even when they are behaving badly. I have tons of acquaintances and I draw a very thick line between the two. Don't confuse my friendliness as being a BFF. I work in PR, it's what I do.
- I love collecting interesting people. Seriously. Get invited to a weekend away with me, or a party at my home and there will be the most bizarre menagerie of friends.
- I HATE SMOKING. I do, however, I approve of cigars and the sheesha. I am totally for the legalization of marijuana. For the record, no.. I don't smoke.
- I do not watch sports. At all. I do enjoy a live Ice Hockey game for the fights. Instead, let's plan a trip to an art gallery or movie or great restaurant, etc.
- I am a super freak when it comes to skin care and cosmetics. I put a lot of time and money into both.
- I am private when it comes to sexual matters. I don't want to hear about your escapades.
- I could spend hours in a library or museum. I also have a wonderful addiction to coffee and conversation. YOU HAVE TO BE a great conversationalist. PS, having a wicked sense of humor would be great also. Some people think my personality can come off a little brash or bitchy, but I am just really sarcastic.. it's my sense of humor. Very dry sometimes.
- I do love the outdoors. I like hiking, water sports, etc. I would give anything to find a good group to go camping this fall.
- I say NO, very easily.
- finally, don't invite me to sandwich shops. Especially chain sandwich shops. Our friendship will end.
That's it for me.. at least for the big stuff.
Tell me.. what are a few of your "cultivation" factoids? What is most important to you?