How's Your Bubble?

When I recently attended a group lunch meeting, the person sitting next to me greeted me by saying, “So how is everything in your bubble?” It caught me by surprise and took me a second before I chuckled. We went on to discuss our activities and common areas of interest. But I think about her greeting often when I begin to engage in a conversation with others.

We all live in our own worlds… on our own islands… in our own bubbles. When I left my last position, I realized after about two weeks how I had been living on an island, so to speak, for 10 years. I quickly began to realize how unimportant issues were that were once monumental in my mind. There were matters that I may have tossed and turned about at night.  Looking back, these things were not worth loosing sleep over. Have you ever run across a note or an email from years back and realized how silly it sounds? A particular issue you were once dealing with now seems so insignificant or was never quite as horrific as you once thought. First of all, we are adding unnecessary stress to our lives when we don’t have things in perspective. And secondly, we are missing out on what is important in the lives of others.

If we are living in our own worlds, are we tuning in to those around us? Are we really listening to people – to their wants, needs, perspectives? Living in our own bubble limits us from really engaging in meaningful conversations. If we are so focused on our own thoughts and internal drama, we are not really listening to others. We often isolate ourselves and lose sight of what is important in the other people’s lives.

I began to ask myself -- Am I a caring person? Am I appreciating and valuing others?

A good fundraiser learns to be a good listener, but are we really listening? Are we stepping outside of our bubbles and listening compassionately?

I have so much to learn from listening – really listening to people. We are not growing if we are not taking in what others are doing, experiencing, valuing, etc.

We are more engaging if we pull ourselves out of “our bubbles” and listen with genuine interest, gratitude and an open mind. This is how we connect with each other

Step out of your bubble and become aware of your surroundings by listening more intentionally to others. Do you notice a difference in others and in yourself?