A few years ago I realized how odd it is at my doctor’s office to share highly intimate, personal health information with people whose names I don’t even know.
Recently I showed up for a tour of an apartment complex. I realized several seconds into it that I had not introduced myself. I then did. My tour guide did not. I had to
I even verify that I have the name of the customer service rep on the phone when I call my insurance company, for instance. I also make sure I’m pronouncing their name correctly.
I want them to know I see them as a human being. I admit part of my agenda is hoping they view me
as a real person too. My goal is relating to each other as human beings.
I still catch myself "transacting" when I don't want to. I guess the habit may come from a desire for efficiency or from the nature of "broadcasting" via social media. Or from the daily experience of making a mundane request (“Large coffee, please.”), getting a response, and we’re done.
It’s easy to maintain a transactional mindset (e.g., when I don’t even need to know your name) in the breadth of our lives versus go for the potentially messy yet rewarding mindset of relating.
We as humans want to be seen and to matter. What if we took a breath and acknowledged each other’s humanity – our shared humanity?
Acknowledged that our interactions matter. That individuals matter. What if we simply introduced ourselves?