In following the PBR, Professional Bull Riders, I have developed favorite bull riders. It has been interesting learning about the riders as individuals rather than just their athletic accomplishment. To various degrees I’ve been able to learn about their lives, families, and interests. This makes the riders seem more human and likeable. In learning about the riders, there is a sense of connecting with them on a more human level rather than as just a spectator.
photo © 2011 Lisa Sjolund | more info (via: Wylio)
However, there are different amounts of information available about different riders. Some riders share almost nothing about their personal life. Some share a lot. Most are somewhere in the middle. It must be a difficult decision to determine what to share as well as how to share information with the whole world. This week, J.B. Mauney was featured in an article on PBRnow.com. The article discusses his new role as a father. There is no mention of his daughter’s mother. One person commented that they wanted to know. We are curious about others because we want a connection with them, but we also have to respect their boundaries.
Another rider that I follow, Dustin Elliott, has started sharing more information on Facebook, and I’m really glad that he has made that choice. He shares some information about what he is doing, his injuries, and who he is. This allows us to feel that we know him just a little better. I appreciate his willingness to share.
While these are obviously athletes sharing with a large numbers of people, they can teach us about how to relate to others. When we choose to share things about our lives, we are inviting others to be connected with us. When we share information about our days and lives, then we build connections with other people. Maybe we need to be more willing to share our lives with others so that we can build connections. At the same time, we need to set our own boundaries and respect the boundaries that others have set for themselves. Others may have different needs for privacy than we do. We need to accept where they feel comfortable sharing.
We live in a society where many of us feel isolated. By sharing our updates online or in person, we are making connections. We are building relationships. We are sharing who we are. Let’s build community, tweet, and post so that others will know who we are. Let’s take the time to listen when others share as well.