WordFood - how we feed or starve our realtionships

- Julia Hubbel

Julia’s ability to get this group of type-A executives to engage in true networking was incredible. She is truly skilled at motivating the group to engage and interact with each other, and her openness and honesty really come through.

— Shelley Stewart, Jr.,
Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer, Tyco

April 14, 2013

Descriptive WordFood About Ourselves

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Julia Hubbel @ 5:33 pm

Match.com is one of the funniest sources of behavior on earth. People post pictures from babyhood to their pets, sunsets to mountains, and carefully crop their photos to keep the viewer from seeing anything of their actual physical forms. Then they describe themselves as “Athletic and toned”, which must be the most widely interpreted two words on the singles dating scene. Age, height and hair are also loosely interpreted, and since this is a culture that puts great emphasis on physical beauty, lying is the norm. “What the heck,” it seems that folks say to themselves, “I’ll  figure it out in person.”

I’m been on Match since last Thanksgiving and it has been a source of hilarity to say the least, but also sadness. Imagine driving to an exciting first date based on those stunning photos only to be greeted by forty pounds of “Athletic and Toned” draped over someone’s stomach, bald where there was hair, and twenty more years than what was advertised. Robert Burns once wrote about “what a gift it would be to see ourselves as other see us.” In some cases, people really haven’t looked in a mirror and seen the change.

Saturday I had a date with a blind man like that, but blind in a different sense. A handsome, tall, athletic guy. Champion bodybuilder, model, chiseled. Successful businessman. We arranged a picnic. I was interested in talking about fitness and his time as a jet jockey in the Air Force, being a fellow vet. What I got was two hours of stories about his sexual exploits, complaining about his ex-girlfriend, and women who would take advantage of his -er- “gifts”- and leave him dissatisfied. At one point I mentioned that we’d been sitting there for two hours and he hadn’t ventured a single question about me. He didn’t get the hint. This is how he says women treat him.

It is a wise person who can see that what we say about others is a very good hint to our own behavior if we would but own it. A wise friend once said that we want to pontificate to others how to be in life, as though our life were the model for happiness and success. But if everyone were just like us, it would drive us batty, because we dislike the very things in others that we find in ourselves.

Before we stood up to leave, he mentioned, almost in passing, that he had been molested as a recruit. So had I. Suddenly I felt a wave of compassion. For military members, especially men, molestation goes unreported, unpunished, unmentioned, and uncounseled.  These men and women are left to deal with the shame and guilt the rest of their lives. Their ability to participate in normal relationships is stunted. Suddenly it all made sense.

It’s so easy to jump to conclusions, and so easy to judge. I actually had a lot in common with this man. And he had been kind enough to put up a mirror to that part of myself that tends to talk too much and not be aware of others’ conversational needs.

In everyday life there are countless opportunities to watch what we do and say, and watch where we deny a trait or behavior. That’s when to take note. Chances are that’s something we do and are blind to it. What we resist, persists. Match has given me plenty of opportunities to see things I wasn’t happy to acknowledge, but was grateful for the reminder. Match is my mirror, just like my Saturday date. He reminded me that there are times I talk too much and don’t take others’ needs into account. And more importantly, he reminded me that behavior has a root cause of pain, and the chances are we can relate to it.

Even someone we think is blind can help us see.

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