There is someone I have been having trouble getting to know because I feel like their armor is a bit too thick. I get it. I used to put on a thick outer layer to keep people out too, sometimes I still do, we all do. My armor might look like rigid professionalism, an outgoing social extrovert, or the perfect family member. Whatever I have to show up as in a given situation in order to be accepted.
None of these portrayals are technically misrepresentations of myself, I am professional, I can be social, and I care about my family. They are, however, exaggerations of the truth. I am not the perfect anything for starters, I am professional but I am also a human being, and while I can be social I can also be socially awkward or completely anti-social.
So, I have been trying to get to know someone who leads with a level of professionalism and formal manner that exceeds what is necessary when we are engaging so it has been hard to see the person underneath. I have been okay with this because I understand it and I keep hoping that if I show up as myself maybe they will start to feel comfortable enough let down their guard a bit as well.
Today we had a break through. It came when we realized that we are both human and do not always have the perfect thing to say. Something bizarre happened today that left both of us scratching our heads and that is where we found common ground, among the head scratching.
I guess there was just enough vulnerability in the space where we were both a little lost to allow genuine connection in, sometimes that is all it takes.