Relocation means making new friends. Obviously. Another shocker.....this is neither an easy nor natural task for me. I am challenged daily to engage in that awkward surface level conversation with strangers. Even though I find it all very draining, this is how you begin again. Thankfully I have found wonderful people and that helps ease the awkwardness.
As I re-learn friendship establishing techniques, I have been frequently reminded of the most powerful words in the relationship dictionary. These words are: "ME TOO".
As people share their lives, experiences, opinions, and beliefs, a simple Me Too helps create a foundation of common ground. Me Too tells them you're not only hearing but understanding. Me Too means that their story is safe with you because it's your story as well. Me Too invites familiarity into the conversation and exiles judgement. Speaking Me Too plants seeds for growing a friendship.
As often as I can, I try to use my Me Too tool in conversation. Typically there is something that is relate-able if I am willing to listen intently. Joining in with another on their journey is one of the richest and deepest connections we have to others. If you are bold enough to step out of your story and join in with them. Although I often search for the Me Too moments, the risk of saying those two words is enormous. Even silencing at times.
It takes courage to expose your self with Me Too. It takes a willingness to be put out there. Me Too isn't easy, but it is worth it. Worth the awkward pause in conversation. Worth the leap into the unknown. Worth it.