Yesterday I was having dinner with a few people, one of which was Chris Skaggs. He was getting to know my friend, cinematographer Sean Brown. We had just finished a full day shoot for a Kickstarter film. Chris asked me if Sean and I knew each other as professionals or friends? I asked if there was really a difference. Chris replied, “for you there isn’t. But that isn’t normal.”
I am still wondering why that is. Yes, I am one of those super connectors. Every personality I have taken indicates it. I constantly make new friends and connect others. I easily become friends with those I do business with. But why doesn’t everyone? Is it because most people want to keep a dividing wall between work and private life? Is it because they hate their jobs? Do they not want to have leaks between the two?
I have been there before. I understand that. But even in jobs that were not well fitted for me I felt a pull to become close friends with co-workers and clients. Part of it comes down to personality. But I do think there is something deeper going on here.
I think it is ultimately because we all make comfortable establishments against anxiety and change. We do this in all the sectors of our lives. In many ways these structures allow us to be different people in specific situations. It feels safe. Getting to know more people in a deeper way, many of them in our professional lives, destroys those barriers we have so carefully built. People challenge or disrupt comforts or assumptions we have made about ourselves and the world.
So what about you? If you were to survey your friends, professional colleagues, co-workers and clients, would they be the same people or completely different groups? Why or why not?