Who are you? Really, who are you? As a twenty-one year old college student I've had to introduce myself tons of times. In the first week of college alone your are meeting new people daily. Even now, I probably introduce myself at least once a week and it's always the same.
"Hi, I'm Caitlin. I'm from Maine. I'm a Biology and English double major. I have a younger sister..."
It goes almost exactly like this with the interjection of questions back and forth for a while until the small talk has been exhausted. You know what is strange. These questions never truly get to the point. When someone asks us to describe ourselves we rarely describe things that are unique to ourselves and we always talk about ourselves in relation to other people or things. Never do we hear the intimate details of what makes someone unique.
Of course, it's difficult to tell a total stranger what makes you different. It would be inappropriate to elaborate on what truly makes you tick, or at least society teaches us that it is inappropriate to be too individualistic. Even when we are with groups of friends it is difficult to overcome the pressures telling you to blend in and tell someone the intimate details about the way you think.
What if, for one moment, you decided to tell someone something about yourself that wasn't just the mundane? Intimacy is the building block of good relationships. Telling secrets shows vulnerability but it also unlocks the vulnerability in others. I think we are all so afraid to show vulnerability these days. It's almost taboo to admit that you are having a problem. Everything gets swept under the rug so we are a collective group of emotionless zombies mumbling "I'm good," through the hallways of life.
If we all just open up a tiny bit to each other maybe we will understand why people act the way they do. We will empathize more and hate less. We will have a reason to smile.
This week try and open up a little more to anyone. Spill a secret no matter how small. It doesn't have to be a stranger. It can be anyone you may want to get to know a little better.