In my coaching practice, I often work with people who are altruists, who are also fantastically good at bringing people together. They are the queens and kings of party-throwing. They plan beautiful projects with dozens of people involved. They see these projects through till the end. And they sacrifice some of their own well-being for the sake of being of service to others. They see where our human society lacks justice, beauty and peace, and then they work hard to literally make this world a better place. They get things done. And they are over-worked and under-nourished when it comes to their heart’s deeper needs and desires.
If this is you, here’s an edge you are carrying around, probably without knowing it: You have such a deep longing for being with other people that you create elaborate experiences for others just so you can connect with with them – at the expense of your own time and energy.
The mere act of bringing people together – by inviting a diverse team of professionals to join you for a new project you just plucked out of your highly creative brain, or by having your friends come sit around your kitchen table at brunch – is highly fulfilling for you.
But the thought that you could connect with others “without a purpose” is probably deeply uncomfortable for you.
Imagine you would meet with someone just to spend time with them.
To have coffee with a friend, with no other agenda than to chat for a while and to feel well in each other’s presence.
And to then not invite that friend over to your place.
To then also not pay for a whole party and invite all of your other friends, too.
To just say to someone: “Hey, I would love to see you. Are you free on Friday?”
And to not have this coffee date be about anything else but connection.
If you are feeling a psychological edge when you imagine going there: Good. Play with that edge. Feel its shape and size, and sense where this experience starts making you feel uncomfortable: As soon as you imagine calling your friend? When you imagine that there’s no deeper meaning behind that date, that you would just like to spend time with them? When you imagine that you won’t be paying for your friend’s coffee, only for the one you are going to have, yourself?
Sense where you have a tendency to over-give, and where you feel uncomfortable around receiving the gift of spending time with someone you love.
And then call your friend anyway.
Let this be awkward.
You are trying something new.