One of the things we can all observe from those we just met (and ourselves) is how nervous we are to talk about ourselves.
What is going through our minds? Hearing ourselves speak, do we suddenly feel that our hobby of binge-watching our favorite series is “uncool”? Our taste in music is weird? Or, I’ll really seem like a nerd if I tell them this…
More often than not, I think people are defensive, especially when we are first getting to know them. Sadly, we feel defensive about ourselves.
We protect our identities, shielding them from any kind of criticism that could make us feel even more inferior than we are already made to feel. I think that this is very ironic considering the shift of our culture to more accepting ideals and belief in giving everyone an equal chance.
Our subconscious has created boxes that categorize, group, and stereotype people. We say that we don’t like when this is done to us, but we automatically categorize ourselves from the first introduction.
If we want to continually work towards community, we have to begin to strip down our walls of defense that we’ve built even from those who’ve greeted us with a smile.
Embrace uncertainty and that nervous feeling. Break out of your box. Be proud of your story.
If you want to become a storyteller, you can connect with this thoughtful blog on the importance of fearlessly telling our stories.