Wanna Get Closer?
I know Valentine’s Day was close to two weeks ago, but I'm hoping whatever type of relationship (or lack thereof) you find yourself in, you’ve been able to keep some positive, loving energy since then. I know, I know...rough right?!
Do you remember a couple years ago when Southwest Airlines had those hilarious commercials where someone would find themselves in the most awkward and absurd situation of their life, then, out of nowhere, “Ding!”, followed by the famous phrase “Wanna Get Away?”
I’m a huge Mad Men fan (perfectly fitting suits and brandy before lunch, what’s not to love?), but it has caused me to watch advertisements with a closer eye. It seems to this day, I have an even greater appreciation for taglines and a company’s ability to make people feel exactly how they intend to.
Now, I can’t disagree. The circumstances those people were in during the commercials wasn’t ideal, and I don’t think there’s many who would want to stick around or keep reliving a moment like that. In just about every one of those cases, if someone asked me, “Wanna get away?” I would respond with, “How far and how fast can you get me there?”
It seems that when it comes to our relationships and everyday situations that we want to hear that same “Ding!” followed by the famous voice for Southwest Airlines asking us if we want to get out of dodge. Like with so many of things I talk about, we need to take a step back from “life,” and attempt to adjust what we are actively thinking about.
I realize that beginning of this post may have lead you to believe it’s about some sappy love suggestions for couples, but this lesson applies to relationships of all types. And with the current climate of our country, it cannot be stressed enough. Whether you are reading this and you are married, engaged, dating, starting a new relationship, single and focusing on yourself, actively looking to meet someone new, a parent, a friend, a manager, a coach, a teacher, a student, etc., ask yourself when is the last time you had a real, engaging conversation with someone close?
When confrontation arises, or things get difficult (or even when everything is all gravy baby) don’t listen to Southwest’s advice and hop on the next the flight out. We need more people asking their husbands, girlfriends, or someone new they just met at work or church, “Wanna Get Closer?”
Believe me, I understand how corny that sounds and I’m not asking you to literally do that, although that would be awesome! I just want you to care about your wife of 3, 10, or 35 years and find out what her goals are, what’s on her bucket list, what are some things that she hasn’t done that she’s always wanted too. I know I mention wife here but think of all the other examples I gave. Whose life have you just been dipping your toe in the water, instead of doing a 360 cannonball and taking a sincere interest?
Those are some deep conversations to have with someone, you don’t always have to jump off the high-dive either just to get there. A simple question in the car, FaceTiming, or at dinner could make someone's day. For those of you who follow me on social media, you’ve might have seen I asked my dad what being black meant to him growing up in the 60s and 70s, and more importantly how his views have changed over the years? Last week, I also challenged the students I’m teaching to have conversations with their parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, where the focus is not on them and simply put, there is no agenda.
Next time an opportunity presents itself at dinner, on a road trip, a networking event, or a team meeting, and you hear that “Ding!” Take the focus off yourself and find a way to make whatever connection you have with someone even stronger.
*If you like this article and would want to hear more about this principle I suggest reading a book titled The Dream Manager, by Matthew Kelley.