How to Be Human: A Series

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

You’re at a party, engaged in a meaningful conversation when suddenly the person just walks away. You send the perfect text, and you don’t get a response. A group of people are talking politics, you don’t necessarily agree with what they are saying, but you bite your tongue and leave the conversation. You’ve drafted the perfect social media post consisting of your passion, but your friends might find it “weird.” You press delete. You finish typing out a work email only to swap periods for exclamation points in an effort to sound excited and interested.

Why do we do the things that we do? Why do we communicate like this? Why are there so many weird rules? Why can’t we say what we feel?

All of these questions have been rattling around in my head for the past couple of years. Through college and into the early years of my career, communication has proven incredibly valuable. Whether it was in the classroom or on the ball field, or now on the sales floor, communicating with others is the basis of my existence.

My livelihood is dependent on my ability to communicate. I make money creating relationships and convincing others that I have a solution to their problem. And yet, with each passing year, there seems to be a new set of “rules” that dictate how, when, and where we can engage with others.

Why do I need to wait 3 hours to respond to a text?

Why do I need to seem uninterested in people to be cool?

Why do I have to hold back who I am and what I believe for fear of being ridiculed on the internet?

There is something about a genuine human connection that changes the dynamics of your life. The moment, surrounded by your closest friends and family, when that warm feeling in your chest begins to radiate throughout your body. That ear to ear grin, followed by the blissful thought, “I am exactly where I am supposed to be.” In those moments, you feel weightless. You feel loved. You feel heard. Time stands still. You are human.

These are the moments I live for. The experts say people never remember what you said; people remember how you made them feel. This thought is precisely how I want to be judged. I want people to leave our conversations understood, heard, and, most importantly, loved. In theory, that’s easy enough, right?

The past 200 years have brought about a radical transformation in our ability to interact with each other. We went from a rudimentary telephone to a smartphone. Telephone conversations were periodic and uncommon. Now, we are constantly in contact with one another. Our ability to communicate across the globe has also changed. I can reach anyone, anywhere in the world, in a matter of seconds. In theory, communication should be easier. But why then is it more complicated?

I haven’t put my finger on it yet. I can’t seem to figure out why in a connected world, are we so disconnected. Why are depression and suicide rates on the rise? Could it be in part to how we communicate? Or does that have more to do with social media? All I do know is that means that people aren’t feeling loved.

What is the “it’ that is preventing us from connecting with one another? We all know that we want to be heard, accepted, and loved. Part of being a human is the want to fit in. We are pack animals. It is ingrained in our being. So if that is the case, why are we putting up all of these walls?

The dangerous part about putting yourself out there and being your authentic self is that you put yourself in harm’s way. Maybe people won’t accept you for who you are. Perhaps you are a little bit off the beaten path. Maybe you just don’t quite fit into the bound that society has created.

Great. That is the beauty of being human. You don’t have to be like everyone else. But why then, is it so hard for us to truly be ourselves? Why is it is so hard to tear down our walls enough to find a place that we truly belong to? I’ll raise you this question. Is it worth shielding yourself, putting up walls, and suppressing your feelings for a moment of relief from embarrassment, for the potential to lose out on a lifetime of being surrounded by people who love you for who you are?

The answer is no. Obviously, not. But we still do it. We still shield yourselves, hide our true identity, and miss opportunities that could change our lives.

There is so much out there that doesn’t seem to make sense. All of this should be easy.

I hope to come up with some answers that, at the very least, can help change the way you interact with others for the better. I hope to come up with answers on how we can ensure others feel loved and ways to make sure people remember us for how good we made them feel.

I am no expert. I am no professor. But my years of making a living off of creating relationships will give me a basis into where to search the vast expanse of knowledge available. From there, we put that information into stories so we can all understand. Finally, we grow together, changing the lives of those around us and therefore improving our own.

These are questions that are not going to be answered overnight. To be honest, we might find that there is no easy explanation as to why we do the things that we do. It might take us decades to hash it all out, and by then, we can probably communicate with each other with messages straight to the brain.

We will create evergreen content that, at the very least, might change one interaction that you have with another human being. Maybe that one interaction changes your life. You never know what surprise another human being might have in store for you.

In a world that is so divided, I hope to help throw the rope to the other side to start to bring everyone back together. We move forward as one. Let’s get back there together.

The first ‘How to be Human’ story will be released on August 12th. I’m excited to take this journey with you all. Stay tuned.

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Jacob Wells

Jacob Wells

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Business Professional. Writer. Athlete. Dog-Lover. Occasional Disc-Jockey. | Twitter @jacobrwells | Instagram @jacob.r.wells