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Me, Myself & I

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I am a localization manager/translator and intercultural consultant living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about languages, cultures, diversity management, body art, dancing, self-empowerment, coaching, effective communication and, last but not least, vegan gluten-free food and good movies.

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A Lot Like Purple is my personal blog.
I'm the only person responsible for its content and the views and opinions expressed here are solely mines.
What I write doesn't represent my clients or any other group, organization or agency.

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

How do you reply when someone asks you about yourself? Do you do something or are you something? Feat. my own "I'm really good at" blogging game

During a first date, at a party, during a job interview, while giving your elevator pitch or being busy working a room during yet another networking event, how do you reply when someone wants to get to know you a little bit better and ask you the notorious question "Tell me about yourself" or something similar?

Do you reply while telling them about what you do or about who you are?

It’s addictive to do one more thing before you relax, enjoy, or connect with people in your life. This isn’t helpful and reinforces that you are a ‘human doing’, not a human being.
Nate Regier

One of the most important a-ha moments that someone practicing intercultural communication can experience is being exposed - maybe for the first time, at least in a conscious way - to the concept of the difference between growing up and/on living in a culture / social setting founded on doing versus growing up and/or living in a culture / social setting founded on being and what this acculturation can do to us and how much it can shape us in the long run.


[Can you make your own magic or are you like magic?
Above all, can you see the difference?
Bridget Fonda as Myra Shumway 
in Rough Magic (1995) by Clare Peploe]

How do you define yourself? What's your identity all about?
How do you define and perceive others?
How do you get social approval by your peers? While doing something or being something?

Depending on your story, your past, your experience, the way you grew up and many other factors, you could tend to consider it normal for you to base your self-image either on what you do, your job, your achievements, your goals, your actions or who you are, the people you spend time with, what you feel, what you think.

There is no right or wrong, and there is no black and white. No person thinks 100% only in one way or the other all the time. It is more about a certain inclination that you have developed over time and that influences the way you perceive yourself, your social circles and what happens around you, in most cases without you being aware of this.



[When it was the last time that you have been
a wonderful and relaxed unicorn?
Image credit: Kris Atomic]

For some people, it is absolutely easy and even flattering to reply to questions like "What are you good at?" or "Which ones are your strengths?", for other people it is what nightmares are made of.

What if I would ask you "Who you have been, when you've been at your best?"?
Can you notice the difference between this question and "What did you do, when you've been at your best?" and tell me which kind of reactions both questions trigger in you?

It could sound like a mundane question, and yet it is probably playing a big role in determining what you tell yourself, the kind of people you hang around with, the kind of partner you are looking for or you are together with, the way you are educating your children, the way you treat people around you, and so on.

Something I personally always found fascinating and sometimes even hilarious, during the time I spent doing online dating, was reading the section "I'm really good at" in most online profiles. At least 50% of the gentlemen wrote just "I don't brag".
OK honey, so many thanks for this piece of information. Now I know you so much better.

Or, to put it better, I actually did. The way those men replied to the question spoke volumes about them, to me. And about the kind of people they were looking for, in their life.
What's so wrong in knowing what you are really good at and in being proud of it?
Where does the difference between being presumptuous and being assertive lay?

Do you want to spend your time with people ashamed of who they are and what they do or that feel good about themselves?

I like to spend time with people that have a positive self-image and feel good about themselves and others, so I hope you will enjoy my version of I’m really good at, adapted in blogging style just for you.

Feel free to take it as a game, and play along with me.

Short version: 
Enjoying it, and becoming a better version of myself every day.
If you are doing the same and you know what you want to feel, learn, experience and achieve in life, you have stumbled upon the right blog.

Long version:
- smiling;
- learning languages;
- listening and asking the right questions if someone needs to talk;
- finding cool movies or enjoying the classics yet another time;
- dancing;
- giving massages;
- writing, translating and proofreading;
- enjoying serendipity;
- being happy and living every day with mindfulness;
- wearing only three colors.
And I am becoming pretty good at dying my hair, after so many nuances and experiments.

I would love to say that I am a champ at playing pool, but it would be a lie...

What are you going to say, the next time that someone asks you something about you or what you are good at? And how do you want to feel about yourself, in that moment?

What to read next:
The paramount importance of showing up, and what two powerful quotes by Aristotle can do for you in the process

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