I’ve always been shy…seriously. I started teaching not only out of frustration with the quality teachers I encountered as my practice advanced, but to open up more.
It’s worked…sorta. I’m now an ambivert. Well, one step at a time, right? But, I like to think that I’m still shy. I stopped wearing my hair over my face. I don’t hide behind glasses that I don’t really need, yet. But, my story about myself remains the same.
At work, I talk a lot about the story. In design, and especially in marketing, we identify what story the consumer wants to hear. Not just about the product but about themselves. Companies like Apple and Whole Foods have mastered this.
But, it isn’t just a corporate thing. We all do it everyday with one another:
“I didn’t tell you because I thought it would hurt your feelings. I did it for you”
= I’m a giver. I’m a good person
translation: “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to risk that you wouldn’t like me anymore”
= If you don’t like what I’ve said, I’m a bad person
“Well, maybe we should meditate on this a little while longer. (awkward pause) ‘Cause…I just…well, I don’t know what you think about this but…(sigh)…well…(awkward pause) Well, maybe we should meditate on this a little while longer.”
= We’re in dialogue. I’m a good person
translation: “I’ve already made up my mind but don’t want to commit. You tell me what you’re thinking first”
= I don’t want to compromise. I’m a bad person
Over the last few months, I’ve had several conversations that have not been truly honest. People aren’t lying to me on purpose…I think. They’re just trying not to tell the truth. They’re not taking the risk.
The funny thing is that I like people more when they tell hard truths.
This has forced me to take my yoga off the mat in a good way. Not an easy way, but a good way.