What happens when a Yankee and a Texan marry? Well in my own case, I inherited a bunch of southern family. I’ve learned to say “y’all” and “bless her heart”. The family tree includes Crutch and Buck, Bubba (seriously), Uncle Son and Aunt Willie Lee (nicknamed “Aunt Snazz”), who still mowed her own lawn at 90.
But the biggest gift from my southern in-laws has got to be that they share things. Big things, little things. They ask questions, and seem to genuinely want to know the answers. Yankees—or at least my band of Connecticut and Vermont Yankees—are much more tight-lipped. You’ve got to drag things out of them, even after you’ve known them for years.
I like to think my southern branch is on to something.
Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to connect with those who let down the curtain a bit? They show us how real they are. Their vulnerability, their being human, actually draws us closer.
It can be sharing a personal loss, as Charles Green so eloquently wrote about his beloved dog Sammy. He didn’t do it to earn SEO points, he did it because he had to. It was too important to his life NOT to. If you read the comments, you’ll note they are unusually personal and reflective. Charlie hit a chord with his heart-felt story.
Sometimes, it’s telling the REAL truth about what you’re feeling vs hiding it behind bluster. I had been mystified by a client’s abrupt dismissal of a stunningly gorgeous shot of her we wanted to use on her website. “It’s a bad photo”, she kept insisting. It was only after some probing that she finally said: “I look so old”. Ah. Now that’s something altogether different. Her oh-so-human feeling immediately made me identify with her (and showed me how to solve the problem).
And maybe it’s just trusting that your story must be shared. Last week I was introduced to a very successful business author. After the usual preliminaries, she could have waxed poetic about her business writing—which would have been the straightest line to revenue for her. But instead, she told me about a personal memoir she wants to write. I was simply blown away with how she immediately took me into her story. She had me hooked. You can bet I will be at the front of the line to read her first non-business book.
Show me you’re human and I will follow you, read your books and maybe even move mountains to help you.
Bet I’m not alone.
Like what you see here? Head on up to that pink bar to sign up pronto and I’ll deliver my weekly insights directly to your in-box.