Depth of Relationship

How far are you willing to go?

While I’ve been traveling, I have been very restricted with the amount of conversation I’m able to have with people I come into contact with. You come to find even the random banter you occasionally have with the barista at Starbucks or waiter at your local restaurant isn’t exactly possible because you’re pointing at signs and pictures to communicate. Thankfully, many people across Europe know enough English to deal with Americans like me who can’t grasp other languages very easily. Yet, this whole experience got me thinking to a topic I’ve been dealing with for a bit longer: depth of relationships.

Now, I will concede that everyone has their own ways to measuring how deep their relationships are with the people they know so measure how you will. As an introvert, (INFP for those curious), I value my personal relationships profoundly and I find enjoyment in them when they can jump from one extreme (“I need to talk about this potentially life changing decision”) to the other (“weren’t the chase scenes in Fast Five ridiculously unbelievable, but fun to watch?”).

One thing I’ve missed in the last 3 weeks, and perhaps much longer, is that I’m not consistently able to have the “life changing decision” conversations nearly as often as the ones about Fast Five. People aren’t as willing to go past the surface into areas that may be uncomfortable or expose any part of our true selves. It’s easy to put up a front. We all do it to varying degrees. But we also find it easy to discuss things of no consequence because it doesn’t personally challenge us in any way. There’s no intellectual or personal benefit, but that’s OK because it’s like we’re conversing, but nothing is actually being said.

It’s good to go deeper once in a while. Ask your friends what excites them. Find out why a certain TV show appeals to them. (Maybe it will reveal something about them far more fascinating than the show itself.) Ask questions of people who you don’t always agree with and get more information instead of avoiding the topic. At least you’ll understand why you disagree instead of just avoiding that topic or worse, that person. Besides, these conversations make life a lot more interesting when you look back at it.

How far are you willing to go down that path? Will you walk past that well lit park bench that you can see from where you’re standing? Or will you venture down the path together beyond the horizon, where unknown, but profound, adventures and depth await?

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