I was working in an environment where I was constantly exposed to high profile people who led extremely busy and public lives. It was my job at the time to ensure we executed our tasks flawlessly with the normal challenges of consistent schedule changes and other uncontrollable variables. There was one particular evening that I knew would remain etched in my mind forever as it taught me some lessons on how important connection is to everyone regardless of success.
It was about 9pm on a week day and I was having dinner when I got a call from a client in a distressed state about a personal matter. I had interacted with this client a number of times via email and perhaps once over the phone so I didn’t understand why they were calling me for this specific matter. They were away from home and preparing for an event the next day so I decided to just listen to their issue and offer suggestions and support. To my amazement it worked and about twenty minutes later, the client felt much better. However they continued to vent about other things which put me on the phone now past 11pm. It didn’t really hit me until after I got off the call that I was on the phone with this person as the majority of the conversation felt as if I was talking to a friend. Since then, I’ve replayed the entire scenario over and over again which resulted in some insights about public personalities.
They appreciate authenticity When you’re in an environment where you are constantly told yes or there is never a dissenting opinion, relationships can feel very superficial. Because of the unpredictability of life, there are times when public personalities appreciate some honest feedback or insight as that is what will help them especially when solving problems.
They seek and need to connect with others outside their circle While at first glance it might not seem so, having a public life is very lonely. Because of the fear of personal information being leaked, public personalities usually remain isolated in small circles. It can get extremely lonely as people need to expose themselves to others and appreciate a fresh perspective from time to time.
They also have bad days Public personalities are human not robots. They also need down time especially since the demands on their time is so taxing both physically and emotionally. They have the normal ups and downs like most of us do and therefore also constantly need motivation and support.
It was not until years later that I realized the empathy I was able to naturally display in that scenario is what has allowed many interactions like these to take place in my life. The ability to empathize with someone is essential to making meaningful connections both personally and professionally.
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