Just this week I finished reading Michelle Obama's book, Becoming, and in it she says of her adjustment to life in what at first seemed to be the "museum-like formality of the White House": "Life was better, always, when we could measure the warmth."
It's true, isn't it? Like children and animals, most of us tend to be drawn to that which is genuine, warm, real, and approachable. Sure, we may be entertained by something more showy; we might occasionally find some bit of appeal in a more formal and other-worldly setting. There's room for professional, distanced, and boundaried engagement with others that keeps us safe and protects our hearts. At the end of the day, however, we all want (and dare I say need?) spaces in which we are warmly embraced emotionally, held close physically, and given room to simply be as we are without pretense or guardedness.
The people I gravitate toward are down-to-earth, open, warm, and compassionate. Like you, I have numerous encounters weekly with a variety of people, and one of my personal goals is to show up with warmth, engagement, and a genuine interest in and curiosity about the lives of the people I encounter, regardless of their political perspective, religious beliefs, economic status, or level of education.
I commend to you Mrs. Obama's book. It's an insightful, honest, and inspiring look into her experience both as a female, African-American from the South Side and as the First Lady of these United States. Regardless of your perspective on her husband's policies and the initiatives she herself implemented, you will find good humor, honesty, an education about politics, and plenty of warmth in its pages.
What if you could get out of your head and into your body in ways that feel good? What would it feel like to show up in increasingly genuine ways? What if your unique values and personality were the launching space for every encounter you every have? How might you work toward creating around you the space you want to inhabit - one that is kind, sincere, transparent, and warm?
This Extrovert's Attempt to Use My Words to Make Sense of My Life