Do you connect?

Do you really connect?Recently, I have come home to find mascara smeared under my eyes after a vigorous workout or on a particularly steamy day. I wondered why none of the several women I had spoken to mentioned it to me.  It was annoying. While my mascara is no one’s responsibility but mine, it seemed to be just another example of the lack of common courtesy and self-absorption that has become the norm.  

I often wonder whether the women who didn’t mention the mascara even saw me. It is not as if I interrupted them to converse. Often I didn’t even initiate the conversation.
 
I have been wondering if it is just me who was annoyed by this one-way type of exchange. Am I the only one tired of empty conversations with people who aren’t really there? I don’t think so.
 
Another day, a smart and up-beat woman I know had the same complaint. After speaking with people, she noticed that she had a large piece of food in her teeth. She was annoyed and mystified that no one had told her. When I floated the idea that people are just too ‘into’ themselves these days to even notice if another person is on fire – never mind react to their feelings or personal news – she didn’t disagree.
 
Too many people today think it is okay not to return phone calls because they are tired or stressed. To be clear darlings, we aren’t talking about humoring stalkers, naggers, or anyone you should avoid, but calls from family, friends, and colleagues. You may be busy, but who isn’t these days? And no one will put up with you setting the social agenda for long – not unless they work for you.
 
These same “neglectors” want their calls retuned, but they don’t seem to understand reciprocity or phone karma. And darlings, I have seen phone karma in action as the neglectors sit and wait for calls or contacts they “desperately” need or want that never happen.
 
I not saying that one has to leap to the phone the minute it rings. But if you don’t return friends or colleagues calls within two days on a regular basis, the relationship will suffer. And don’t count on irritated friends to tell you how disappointed they are; they may just fade away after putting up with your self-absorbed behavior for a while.
 
The secret to a sweet life is realizing it is a two-way street. No one worth knowing will put up with a selfish person unless they are a celebrity or the boss – and even they get dropped if they are too obnoxious. Remember, even Hugh Hefner got dumped.
 
Facebook often exposes those who are in love with the sound of their own voice. We have all experienced the one-way communicator who seldom reacts or comments on someone else’s photos or events. Yet, their pages shout look at me! Others react and they share things that matter to them: quotes, music, and old photos – that tells you about them too. It is a conversation and it is generous. People have their own style of communicating on Facebook, but it is easy to spot those who are in it only to get an audience.
 
No one likes being ignored even if it is not “cool” to say so. A hip young stylist told me recently that he didn’t think much of a young woman we both know. She ignored all of his comments on Facebook after friending him.
 
Many people these days are desperately trying to make connections for love or work, but they find it so hard to pay attention to others. Too many of us have become “broadcasters” as opposed to conversationalists. And common courtesy and relationships have suffered.
 
Some experts say there is a new breed of individual who doesn’t care about friends, family, or even having a partner. They consider themselves as celebrities, even when they are not. We used to call that being shallow and boring. In the end it often doesn’t lead to a sweet life or having anyone you can count on.
 
Darlings, life is too short to spend endlessly chattering or in frivolous relationships. Taking time to connect — really connect — with people makes life sweeter.
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