It’s hard to make out which place I’m referring to in the picture above. Cloudy, foggy, and only a portion of the place can be seen. If you guessed it right, that is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. 4 years ago, I attended a student conference in Berkeley which is a few minutes away from the city proper. However, I had ample time to explore and discover San Francisco on my own. At first, I did not expect to fall in love with San Francisco. I did not think highly of this city mainly because of stories from my relatives who did not find it charming as they thought it would be. With no previous background at all , I realized that I was touring this city as it is, as I saw it. Once I got a glimpse of the harbor which was right across these beautiful Victorian bay houses, I was left breathless. It was like a stranger trying to tell his whole life story in one sitting, I was so overwhelmed with what I encountered around the city. I did not expect to dedicate so much attention and effort to go around the city even with the lack of time and budget. Most notably though out of my experiences was my short trip to the Golden Gate Bridge. I have never seen a sight as stunning as a bridge with the San Francisco skyline as the backdrop. I guess I developed a relationship with this city in a matter of days. I always remember the popular thought that in order for you to know something or someone well enough, you need to give something as great in return. This city has been a reminder to me in regards to meeting new people, especially the people, who in one way or another, I have developed feelings for.
With the help of this humanistic approach, I realized that I felt more for the person if I decided to disclose more personal information. Take in to case a girl I met nearly a year ago. She was a crush of mine to start with, but somehow I fell deeper for her when I decided that I would befriend her. As good friends, it was inevitable for me to share very personal things about my life, which included highlights and dilemmas, and I was surprised with the response. Not only did she offer sound advice for the troubles that I was facing, but she also shared a more personal side of her as we continued to be friends at that time. I felt like she trusted me and that led me to my sustained attraction for her. I honestly do not how it did begin but I recall asking about the small things which included her favorites and her dislikes, common interests and family connections. Soon enough, we were talking about the personal aspects of our lives, which led to the mutual development of the feeling of care and concern for one another. It felt daunting to trust someone I did not quite know that well from before with my own thoughts and feelings. I believe, just as the approach suggests, that in the process of disclosing information we lose our anxiety and that social barrier that divides us from strangers. Once we are affirmed that they would share personal information, a two-way relationship exists.
One real important insight that I have learned from this process is that in the works of you revealing yourself, you are rewarded with an even clearer and greater picture and image of let’s say a place or a person. Just like the Golden Gate Bridge, that may look so ordinary from afar, is actuallly spectacular in terms of aesthetics up close. It can be also be noted that the more information you discover about someone you admire or are attracted to, the more beautiful you realize that person is. I guess it is the effect of our attraction, trust and reciprocity that we fall for certain people. I also believe this is how we determine who is compatible for us or not, the mere fact that we choose to disclose information with certain people, is a valid sign that we are ready to be comfortable with them. It is always rewarding to see what they say in return.
In my case, for this city, it showed me two things.
1. How beautiful the people, the different places, and the culture San Francisco had shown me that left me dumbfounded to think that this city is not considered astonishing by some individuals namely my relatives, because it is a beautiful sight.
2. That in order for a relationship to function and bloom in terms of this aspect, one has to give up his social defenses, his ego, and his shyness to be able to communicate to the person on the other line. Again, we are rewarded at times by the response we receive. Sometimes we don’t get any but there are also those times when we get that resounding approval from them.