Last week, memories of my teenage years came rushing back when I overheard one person say to another, “Call me!” The expression made me both chuckle and wince remembering back to when my friends and I would shout it out to one another as we were parting ways. It was usually accompanied by a related hand gesture – thumb pointing to the ear, pinky pointing to the mouth, the other three fingers curled in to fashion sort of an artificial telephone. You know the one I mean.
There’s another more clichéd version of the expression, “Have your people call my people, we’ll do lunch.” Again, I cringe.
Why the negative visceral reaction? Because a) the telephone works both ways – if you want to talk, call! And, b) what are you waiting for? Get it scheduled!
Too frequently, we put off doing something because we perceive we don’t have the time, don’t have value to bring or are plagued by some other unexplained misgiving about reaching out to others. A mean little voice inside your head may tell you the other party won’t want to get together… may not even respond! You may be worried about rejection and embarrassment. Or, in some cases, have false expectations that it is the other party’s responsibility to reach out to us. Stop waiting – start doing! What’s the worst thing that can happen? As my mom once told me, “SWSWSW… Next!”
- Make a list of three people with whom you would like to reconnect.
- Send each one a quick message – could be a call, email or text – asking if they are available to get together to simply catch up. Depending on the person, opt for the appropriate duration (something between 10 minutes and an hour) and venue (call, coffee shop, his/her office, Skype, et al) to meet.
- Get together!
It’s that simple. And, if reaching out to three people seems too daunting, start with one. You will discover how simple it can be. And, taking responsibility for getting together may even be a little source of pride and a confidence booster. Something tells me the person you reach out to will be kicking him/herself for not reaching out first!
And, frankly, if someone you know does shout out, “call me!” and you really do want to connect with him/her, do it. They just gave you explicit permission to reach out.
Please report back to the CLC Community with the results of your outreach. We’ll collectively celebrate your action and would love to learn from you about how you were able to get it done. Go on, what are you waiting for?