Sam Hartman (hartmans) wrote,
Sam Hartman

Getting to Know People

While way too tired, I was responding to some mail from someone I'm
trying to get to know. I took the question as roughly how do you get
to know people and answered it as such. That's not at all what was
being asked, and my answer is a bit on the punchy side, but it is
accurate, so I'll share it here. I subscribe to the story
method of meeting people. You exchange stories about each other,
feeding off the other person's stories, responding both in your choice
of story and in what the story says. Over time, shared context
emerges from the interwoven dual narrative. At some level there's a
point. You're trying to find common ground both because you want to
see if you have common interests and because common ground leads to
common experiences. Common experiences form the vocabulary of empathy
and allow communication at a level deeper than words. How do they
approach problems? Do they change themselves? How do they view
themself; how has this changed over time; where are they going? Does
perception of ability seem to match reality? What do they value?
What about stability--how often do goals change, does time bring them
closer to their goals? How do they view people? How stable are
important friendships? How do they view responsibility, honor,
integrity, compassion, spirituality, fear, intellectual understanding?
How do they face problems, joy, loss, change? What is justice,
fairness, desire? How do they view you?

Perhaps you find that there's more there then friendship. The
narrative focuses inward. How do they view closeness, what do they
want? What do you want? What is love, romance? What are the rules,
boundaries, desires? What about the reflection on reflections: their
view of you, their view of your view of them, and so on? What can you
say to them with the shared context you have built? What of the
physical, sex, sexuality?

Tags: introspection

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