I see every interaction with people around me as a singular relationship; one that needs attention, interaction and love to succeed. These interactions come and go, but I realize that I need to invest the time and effort to keep them up. At the end of the day, it is these contacts with others that make life worthwhile, precious and interesting.
Both my personal- and work life are intertwined; something I have come to love and cherish.
It is difficult to separate my work relationships from my personal ones. Frankly, I do not want to either. If certain people are important in my life, I want them to be a part of me and my daily routines. I want them to see how I work and what keeps me busy. I want to share successes and failures with those around me. And it is a part of my DNA to share my feelings openly.
If I fail to be the best version of me, I know my company and the people around me would see, and feel it.
You need to find some more friends
My wife recently pointed out to me, that I could do with some more friends; maybe not the easiest thing to hear someone say, but I can understand where she is coming from. In her life, family, friends and work colleagues are three separate groups of people. Each of which has distinct characteristics and qualities.
I agree that my family has a different role in my life than my friends and co-workers. However, the people I work and interacts with daily, have become my friends; people I hold very dear.
I don’t know if my colleagues and employees would refer to me as their friend, or just a friendly boss – someone they like to work with. But whatever they would like to call our relationship, we are there for one another. I know that whenever I am not feeling well, or need advice, these people in my life would be there for me as much as I am there for them.
To me these are not just co-workers, but my friends, too.
Strange, humane things happen when you are there for each other
A few years ago, when I was working at a startup in Munich, I got a phone call in the middle of the night. The police were on the other side of the line. I had to bail out one of my employees from a night at the local prison. She had gotten into a fight in a bar after a long night of drinking, and had noted my name down as her emergency contact. I picked her up from the station, brought her to bed on a guest bed in my apartment and let her sleep it off until the next day.
I did not think twice about whether or not I would go and pick her up. Of course I did. I was shocked to find her at the police station in the state that she was in, though. Yet, I knew it this was an extreme sign of respect and gratitude from her side to ask me for help. She knew that I would be there for her, no matter what.
When I think back at that night, and the days that followed, I feel nothing but gratitude.
In the days that followed she told me: “there are very few people I spend as much time with as my colleagues, and I know that you are my friend. I don’t want you to forget about what happened last, and I know that I crossed a line. But I also know that you would not hold this against me. We, as a team, are there for each other.”
As much as the situation kept me emotionally hostage for a few days, I soon came to accept that these things happen. They had never happened to me before, but apparently they do. And as strange as it may seem, I was sort of glad they did – at least once in my life.
Life is full of beautiful relationships, if you want it to be
I am thankful for the relationships I have with the people around me. Maybe I could indeed do with a couple of friends that I could use to blow off some steam from time to time, too. But that is what I have got my blog, Twitter and sports for.
If anything, life is too short to spend a sufficient amount of time with every single interesting person that you meet along the way. It is good to realize that relationships, contacts and employees come and go. Their lives and mine are not the same.
Yet, when you get the chance to spend more time with others, use it. Cherish the time you have with your colleagues, friends and family. Life if all too short to take these interactions and relationships for granted.
Happy holidays and take good care of each other this Christmas.