I walked through the hard driving rain, with a college friend of mine, to see his brand new home. He smiled back at me as he opened the front door, turned back, then suddenly paused. Water was dripping down on the floor from a hole in the silvery-colored entryway ceiling. Momentarily silent, he then said, looking back again with a wry grin, “Every silver lining has a cloud.”
Unfortunately the woman he later married pointedly reminded him on several social occasions that we probably didn’t appreciate his corny humor. Soon his humor went underground. In fact I forgot about it. Years later he got divorced. Then he married someone who often cracked up laughing with him and I instantly remembered that part of my friend.
Yet we’ve also let some part of ourselves atrophy because we weren’t around individuals who brought that it out and delighted in it. Create more adventures in your unfolding life story by cultivating diverse friendships, matching more of your facets with others in ways that bring out the best temperament and talents in each other. What a waste to let parts of yourself atrophy.
Don’t give up. When you are out and about this holiday, keep that opportunity top-of-mind, in two ways:
One: As you talk about things that most interest you, or exhibit a part of yourself you’ve let slide, notice who picks up on it, and consider cultivating that relationship. You may not yet know that person well yet slight acquaintances, do not know how you usually act, found Karen L. Fingerman and Melinda Blau, co-authors of Consequential Strangers. Thus, you get to become, again, a part of you that may have buried yet you, and others, would enjoy.
Two: Pick up on the moment when someone near you perks up in what they are saying, watching and doing. If you find that part of them at all interesting, smile and engage them so they feel supported in that part of their being which is vital to them.
Take the Lazy Way to Boost Your Energy and Performance
More than 50 percent of us assume…. See the other two tips over at Forbes.