Written By: Kaelyn Binder
As we look around at one another it is easy to make assumptions about the individuals we are seeing. No matter where we go, we are surrounded by people that may seem similar to us, yet far from what we view ourselves to be. Surface level assumptions that lead to biased opinions about people we don’t even know. From what they are wearing, to how they walk, or who someone is associating themselves with, we as humans create surface level opinions about the individuals we are surrounded by. However, have you ever considered how you may personally relate to those people who you are so ungraciously depicting? Have you ever attempted to view them past their surface level appearance or general demographics? Although it may be hard to realize at times, every person that walks this earth is more than just the skin they show or the clothes they wear on their backs. We are compiled with stress and worry, we have learned from beautiful mistakes, and we were all created from similar life experiences that in turn molded us into who we are today. Throughout the remainder of this blog post, I would like to ask each of you to dig a little deeper and consider whether or not you can personally relate to these ordinary circumstances and practices that we as humans experience each and every day. Go ahead and make yourselves comfortable, grab some coffee or a beer; because let me tell you something, those two surface level beverages are definitely something that I can relate to.
Stress, It’s a Relatable Thing
Have you ever been in a public library or a coffee shop and seen an individual who appeared to be on the verge of a mental breakdown? Yeah, that’s called stress, and that is something that we can all relate to. Stress is a mental and physical emotion that every person around you has felt at some point in their lives. Take it from a true college student working two jobs and going to school full time for the past five years. Yes, I said it, FIVE. Not only do I stress about money, school work, and getting things done in a timely manner, I also personally stress about much more minor things that I know each and every one of you can relate to. Even the simplest things in life are easy to stress about. For example, have you ever stressed over waking up late and realizing you snoozed your alarm for the fourth or fifth time? All you can think to yourself “S@*#! I did it again!” Yep, that is something I can definitely relate to. Or maybe you are stressed because the toast you just made for breakfast is overly burnt and is now inedible. As a result you end up hangry, leaving the house irritable and agitated. What about when you are in a hurry in the mornings and can’t find the shoes you are wanting to wear even though you have seven other perfectly wearable pairs of shoes waiting to be worn in your closet? As crazy as all of that may seem, the majority of us have all stressed about and can relate to minor instances such as these. So, the next time you see someone who appears to be in distress at your local coffee shop down the road, realize that this stress may have been caused by an instance much more minor that it may appear. Instead of assuming the worst, consider creating a bit of random small talk to simply let the individual know that “Hey, I can relate”.
What is Life?
Growing up into who I am today I was sent through a series of ‘phases’ that weren’t all that pretty. From my initial tomboy image that I rocked until highshcool to learning how to acquire more lady-like attributes, I still find myself in an awkward phase in life learning how to “adult”. However, aren’t we all struggling with the concept of what ‘adulting’ actually means? I mean, we are sent through a long and drawn out educational career where we are faced with so called core curriculum that is supposed to aid us in our future paths in life. But then again, how are we supposed to relate those core curriculum courses to what we all struggle with today? I am now a college level student who is about to graduate in May, 2019 and am still struggling to find an understanding of how the Pythagorean Theorem or how learning a song to remember the capital of all fifty states relates to the everyday knowledge that we are all supposed to be familiar with. Individuals my age (stinkin’ millennials) can almost all relate that we don’t have any sort of understanding of how to properly file our tax returns, how to understand the basic car troubles that we all undergo, or how to appropriately treat any health issues we may be experiencing. Call me crazy, however WebMD is still my go-to medical symptom site, and I know my parents are tired of receiving phone calls from me worrying that I may be experiencing a potential stroke. Don’t lie, the majority of you can relate, we all tend to self-diagnose thanks to WebMD. The point that I am trying to make is that no matter what age you are, or where you find yourself at in life, we can all relate that learning how to ‘adult’ is a never ending phase.
(Relat)ionships and Friendships
One thing that I can personally appreciate is that the friendships and relationships I have been a part of are what helped me grow through each of those so called phases. It wasn’t until I graduated high school that I was able to fully understand just how important some of those connections that I made truly were. The people we associate ourselves with directly impact what we are going through at that point in time. They are a reflection of not only our tough times, but some of our most prosperous moments as well. Have you ever been apart of a friendship that you thought was fun and adventurous but turns out was damaging and toxic? I know I have, and it was an experience that I have both learned and grown from. What about being a part of a relationship or friendship where you were their emotional support blanket? Although it may be difficult at times, in these circumstances we must understand that we are someone who that specific individual personally felt they could relate to and confide in. Lastly, there are going to be certain people within your life where you feel an instant connection with them. They are the ones who share similar interests and odd habits, such as eating a pickle and peanut butter sandwich; not many people can relate to you on that, but the ones who can are the ones worth waiting for. What I am trying to get you to see is that we make connections to people in life based on what we are going through at that current time. It doesn’t matter if you were able to relate to someone on a deeper level or through the discussion of your sandwich, what truly matters is that at that exact moment, you found a level where you could both relate.
Technology, it’s how we relate.
As our world has become more advanced, technology has created a new avenue that allows us all to connect and relate to other people around the world. For individuals my age, as well as those who are younger than me, it is easy to get caught up in the technology that is quickly shaping our lives. Through the use of social media platforms we are able to connect with people who may have once seemed unimaginable. Whether it be famous actors or athletes, health and fitness enthusiasts, or the numerous array of influencers that fill our social media feed, there is always someone who we are living vicariously through each and every day. We are now given the accessibility to make connections through Instagram or Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter, or perhaps through other blog posts with individuals and groups who we never thought we could connect with before. At times we may get caught up in our overly obsessive scrolling, I too am guilty of that, however we are generally viewing our social media as a way to visually connect and relate to different people. It is crazy to me that through the use of technology and social media we all have a particular individual or group who we have never met, yet we feel we can relate to.
I relate to you, and you relate to me.
I feel like it is safe to say that there are numerous other ways that I could discuss with you about how we all relate to one another. Whether it be surface level relatability, or deeper internal relations there is always something you can relate about with the person sitting next to you. If you like Macaroni & Cheese, we can relate. If you wear mixed-matched socks, we can relate. If your family isn’t perfect, we can relate. If you are secretly upset with your body image, trust me we can relate. The list goes on. As this blog post comes to a close and I am writing to you, I keep thinking to myself how and or why I chose to write about relatability. What I have decided, is that not only am I an individual who has told myself numerous times that only I would understand, but I am also an individual who appreciates being the person that others turn to when they feel they are alone. What I would like you all to remember, is that we all are connected to one another in some shape or form. Simply breath, stay calm, and always remember that everyone around you can relate.
29 Replies to “Life, It’s a Relatable Thing”
Very well written and relatable ????. You’re wise beyond your years!
Amazing and enlightening article Kaelyn. Made me realize we need to focus not only on diversity, but similarities as well. Never judge a story by the chapter you walk in on.
Thank you for sharing!
Kaelyn, well written and it gives one a lot to think about. We are all different and each of us brings our own perspectives on how we look at things and relate to others. Gets you thinking!
We are all connected. Technology seems to hinder relationships not help them. Nice article.
Kaelyn – nice blog post. This is very relevant in today’s world….personal, corporate, student, etc.
I enjoyed your blog. It was very thought provoking. I think too often we make snap judgments about people and don’t look past their outward appearance. This is a great reminder to not jump to conclusions. Thank you for sharing.
Interesting observations and perspective from a younger person about life’s relationships and people’s behaviors.
One thing that really stood out to me was your comments to the effect that we never stop learning. If one thinks they can stop because they know it all, it’s time to pack it in. Those people scare me!
Kae – WOW – Great !! One never stops learning at any age. I am that one..
WOW !! Well written Kae… Just proves one is never too old to learn something new. I am ONE of those.
What you say is all so true and are things people of all ages should keep in mind. Thanks for sharing.
Great article Kaelyn. Interesting perspective on how we are all connected whether we realize it or not.
Great article Kaelyn. Very interesting insights into how we are all connected whether we realize it or not!
Thought provoking. Very interesting read. Captivating.
Very interesting read and perspective. Thought provoking and captivating.
Thank you, Kaelyn, this is something everyone should read and think about.
Great article and very “relatable”! We have all been in those shoes. Disconnect from technology and get out an experience things first hand. When you’re scared to do something, go ahead and do it anyway! You will appreciate you did.
I totally “related” to your entire article. It is very well written and completely true. I try and relate to everyone I encounter. It helps develop the relationship and build trust.
Kaelyn, you are wise beyond your age! I like what you have to say and I’m sure the way you do!!!
Relating to situations involving people is challenging! Judging a book by its cover is relevant!
Well done and best wishes,
I enjoyed reading your post Kae, you have such an old soul and I love it.
Proud of you best friend, keep killing it ????
I enjoyed reading your post Kae, you have such and old soul and I love it.
Proud of you best friend, keep killing it ????
Very well written and relatable topic, nice work!
You never know what happens behind closed doors. Treat each other with compassion and respect. Nice blog.
A nice reminder to love life and live it to the fullest.
Interesting blog. Great Job!!
Such a good read!
Excellent observation of people and the ways they relate. Sometimes we fail to realize that those things we judge as imperfect are the things that contribute to our learning, life journey. You seem to be paying attention to those things and learning from them. You are a good writer and I enjoyed reading your Blog.
Awesome post!! So relatable!!
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