What’s Your Relationship?

This week I learned about the Three Levels of Relationships.


Level 3: Family/Friends

The highest form of a relationship where you are being authentic (i.e. yourself), you share deeply about yourself (thoughts, feelings, desires, mistakes, etc,) and you are vulnerable. 


Level 2: Professionals

The middle level of relationships in which you are seeking to build trust and respect, you share some information (i.e. appropriate), and you expose yourself a little to the other person. 


Level 1: Acquaintances

The most elementary of relationships that is superficial in nature, there is little personal sharing of information (i.e. mostly when you are asked a question and you feel comfortable answering it), and you remain guarded. 


This is a good way to assess your relationships–is it a level 1, 2, or 3 and are you behaving appropriately within that, so that you trust, communicate, and collaborate effectively.  😉


(Graphic Credit: Andy Blumenthal)

Why Can’t People Be Genuine

Why all the phonies, users, shysters, and scammers out there?


It starts perhaps with that big, warm smile.


Maybe a handshake and hug. 


Perhaps, you even get a kiss or two (it’s cultural, I think, LOL).


Colleagues, friends, you’re just like family.


Sometimes it’s real and you truly found something valuable in your life.


There are good people of soul and conscience out there. 


But other times it’s an act, a sham, deception, you’re the fool. 


The other person wants something–cash, control, connections.

Oh by the way, can I ask you for just a “little” favor?

You wouldn’t mind if…?

Just do XYZ for me, I got your back. 

I see you know so and so, would you introduce me?

I have a great investment opportunity for you, let me tell you all about it.

Sure it’s okay and actually wonderful in a real relationship for people to be there for each other and help each others…“that’s what [real] friends are for!”


The problem is where the friendship is only about the ask for the benefit of the other and no care for you as a person. 


Then the smile isn’t a genuine collegial or friendship one of happiness and outreach. but rather it’s upside down to get you to do something legit or illegit for the person pressing their lips up and out into that smile you already know is all about the ask. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Good Face, Ugly Mask

So many faces, so much phoniness. 


Why can’t we just deal with genuine people?


Not like the dummies in this picture. 


Everyone seems to put on a face. 


One person comes in the room, puts on a big smile and then drops it like you do your pants in the bathroom (excuse the comparison).


But it’s just so wax!


Another person is talking it up, but you can see just under the thin veneer, they are a boiling powder keg ready to go off. 


Faces are for expression–to feel and to share. 


However, they are used to deceive and fool the world around them.  


Is it a face or a mask.


What’s behind it–good or evil?


If you don’t look past the superficial then you are the real dummy.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Synagogue Time

Time Change

So this is an interesting new phenomenon with synagogue. 


Usually, we like to go a little later so that basically we are there for about an hour and a half of services. 


That’s about my attention span and then I start to get claustrophobic and antsy. 


(BTW, some friends that go to Church told me that they have the same experience.)


But the last two weeks something changed…(no, not me). 


Last week in Maryland, we went to synagogue and the people were standing in front with the Ark open and I thought wow they are way ahead and are finished with Torah reading and are putting the Torahs away already. 


But after a moment, I realized they were only just taking out the Torahs for the weekly reading, and we were actually earlier than usual. 


When I inquired in synagogue why they were behind schedule, I learned that to get people there for more of the services, they had decided to start later. 


Ah, it’s a trick!


This week in Florida, I went to the Chabad shule and we were running late (hey, it’s vacation) about 10:45 and thought shule would almost be over, but they were just in the morning prayers still, and there wasn’t even a minyan yet.  


Two places, two synagogues, two weeks and they are changing the start times…


Seems smart from their perspective to try and get people there and for more of the services, but for the people who just want to come for a certain amount or parts of the service, isn’t this just going to cause people to come even later in an endless cat and mouse game. 


Start later, come later, start later, come later…


I’m no Rabbi, but how about a serious focused service–ONE solid hour (plus)–full of REAL kavanah (concentration), meaning, and sincerity, and everyone comes on time?


Start on time, come on time–really pray (no talking please)!


And still plenty of time for socializing and bonding after services at the yummy Kiddish. 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Brian Smithson)

Lock Or Peephole

Privacy
So is that keyhole in privacy for a lock and key or as an exhibitionistic peephole?



The New York Times had an excellent article on this yesteday, called “We Want Privacy, but Can’t Stop Sharing.”



We are compelled to share online to demonstrate that we are:



– Important

– Interesting

– Credible

– Competent

– Thoughtful

– Trustworthy



The problem is when you inappropriately overshare online, you may leave youself little to properly disclose in building real-world intimate relationships in a normal give and take of “opening and closing boundaries.”



Moreover, being like a lab rat or in a house of glass walls for all to watch indiscriminantly can leave us with feelings of “low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.”



Being under observation–even when it is voluntary–implies being open to judgement and this can drain us of our ability to be ourselves, creative, and take calculated risks.



We don’t want to become too busy brushing our hair back and smiling for the camera and making everything (artificially) look like made for reality TV (e.g. Kardashian) perfection. 



The key to privacy is to disclose what needs to be shared, put a lock on what’s personal, and not arbitrarily leave the peephole eyes wide open. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to g4ll4is)

Be, Be Yourself

Be, Be Yourself

I thought this was a cute sign in the elevator at Safeway.

“Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

Why they put this up in a supermarket, I don’t really know.

Anyway, gotta hate phonies, kiss-ups, and B.S. artists–in the store or out.

My wife’s grandfather used to say, “What comes from the heart, goes to the heart”–I really like that!

An ounce of sincerity is worth more than a ton of faking it–even if you’re a good fake. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)