You’re at the doctor’s office when you see the husband of a good friend walk in with a young woman and a baby. He doesn’t acknowledge your presence, which is a bit odd.
- Do you walk up to say “Hello, how’s Jane?” and see how they respond?
- Do you call your friend the minute you leave the office to tell her what you saw?
- Do you do nothing at all. After all, there are reasonable explanations, so why stick your nose into someone else’s business?
You’re having coffee with another friend, another day, and she confesses that she loves her son much more than she loves her daughter. She can’t help it. It’s just true. She doesn’t love her daughter.
- Is this normal?
- Do you encourage her to get therapy?
- Do you challenge her as a parent to step it up for the sake of her child?
Your spouse has been a bit distant of late. You wonder. You hate feeling suspicious, but you wonder if it could be, if he could have found someone else.
- Do you privately check his mobile messages?
- Do you hack into his private email and read what you find?
- Do you secretely follow him or hire someone else to do so?
Here’s the thing…
life is messy. It’s not easily packaged and consumed the same way by everyone. And the minute you open up messy topics to your listeners, you offer them engagement.
Your job is not to agree with them, certainly not to make fun of them.
Your job is not to point out to them why your way is better than their way.
Your job is to engage them and get them to listen and tell others they listen.
Real life, with all its messiness, is the best way to weave these personal stories, don’t you think?