Can you love unconditionally?
“I just met an old classmate of mine and he made me feel terrible.” He looked troubled by this encounter. I asked him to go on “Tell me what your classmate said.”
“It’s not about what my classmate said, it’s about what he didn’t say. I really feel like asking him, how he is doing, learning about him and connecting with him in a deep way. Yet, I can’t bring myself to connect with him, because I know that he won’t reciprocate.”
This got me very curious, I really wanted to learn more, so I kept quiet and used my body language to indicated that he should go on.
“In the past, I have tried to connect with this person and he totally brushed me off. I kind of hate him for that. He thinks he is more important, like he is aloof and I can’t stand that.”
He was obviously hurt but not by what was done to him but by the way he connected with the idea of unconditional love.
You expect and demand that others treat you better than you treat them. You want people to love you, care about you, nurture you.
Think about that grumpy cashier, I have come across them many times. My experience completely depended on on how I approached this situation. If I walked in with the expectation that, you are my cashier, you need to be in the service of others and you “should” smile when you serve others as a cashier. If my expectation was not met, I would be disappointed.
On the other hand, If I took the responsibility of the service of others and said to myself, I will leave every person I interact with a bit better off after I meet them. I now have the power to change this person from being a grumpy cashier to someone that might be able to smile a bit.
This cashier might have a life that is much harder than mine and might feel stuck but I will make their life better by not judging them but showing up with love, unconditional love.
I do empathize with the person who wants unconditional love. Because I want to be accepted and loved unconditionally. When I get treated that, I feel like I have wings. When someone takes interest in me, loves me, connects with me, wants to learn all about me, is fascinated by me. I get high.
Now that I know that I feel that way, why not make others feel that way. Maybe they will realize what is going on and do the same, or maybe they won’t. Most people don’t. Not because they can’t but because they are not aware.
I know that most people are reactive. That means that they will react to their environment. That is why it’s so important to choose your friends wisely because you mirror your friends.
When it comes to business networking, the more you show up and give, the more likely you are setup for success.
Often people tell me that networking does not work for them, I ask them how many referrals and introductions they made in the past 6 months. They will scratch their head and try to remember. Usually not many. If you want networking to work, you need to make 10x more introductions than you expect to receive.
Yes, loving unconditionally, giving unconditionally is a ton of work. But the payoffs are huge.
It takes a real leader to stand up, take responsibility and give, love, create, without expecting anything in return in the depth of their heart. That doesn’t mean that if you see someone that you feel takes away from your energy that you should engage with them for the sake of good leadership.
At least challenge and question that icky feeling you feel, when you are confident that you will be giving and you will not be getting back from that source. It always comes back, It just comes back from another channel.
I challenge you to take a moment and take serious interest in the people around you today. Do not wonder what they can do for you but only focus on how you can add value to their life. You will have more power than you ever had.
Can you love unconditionally? Are you looking for a reward every time you show love, every time you give? Do you expect other people to take interest in you when you take interest in them?
Feel free to let me know what you think.
Joe Apfelbaum is the CEO of digital marketing agency Ajax Union. He is a public speaker, certified Google Trainer, and published business author. Joe enjoys speaking and writing about a broad range of business topics in his seminars, webinars and articles. Joe is the host of the popular podcast CEO Mojo and the producer of GrowTime.tv. In 2016 Joe was named the King of Kings County Brooklyn for his contribution to the business community in Brooklyn. Joe is proud of all his accomplishments, but most of all he is proud of his beautiful amazing kids.