Interestingly during this week of that commercially oriented ‘love’ day loosely based around St Valentine I found that my discussions with other Hummingbirds (those people who are driven by their curiosity to pursue ever-changing varied interests) centred around relationships as friends, rather than as ‘significant others’.
Two themes came across in these conversations:
- Wanting to be part of a ‘close knit’ group and finding this difficult
- Building meaningful connections with people even when constantly pursuing new interests
Having reflected a lot on this, through my own life and debates with other Hummingbirds, here’s what I’ve come up with …
The CLOSE KNIT group
Characteristics = known each other a long time, shared interests / experiences / activities, have ‘ways of doing things’, protective of one another, takes time for someone new to be included.
Given that Hummingbirds are naturally curious and like to have different activities, people and experiences in their lives it can be challenging to be a member of a close knit group … both for us and for others in the group. We Hummingbirds want to introduce different ways of doing things, new experiences, new people and new activities. The group will resist. It can become uncomfortable for all concerned.
I have examples from two different Hummingbirds to share with you. Firstly, me and secondly, Gareth – my life and business partner.
I have moved a lot throughout my life and have never been a member for any length of time of any close knit group. When I did get welcomed into one it would become relatively quickly obvious that people were finding me a challenge – because I unwittingly questioned ‘the way we do things around here’. Inevitably I would choose to move on.
Gareth grew up in a small town and had a close group of friends through secondary school. He is still in touch with many of them now. And yet, that group of friends has all moved to different places as their interests and lives have evolved. When they all came together for our ‘not wedding’ a few years ago it was the first time they had all been together in the same place since leaving secondary school.
Characteristics = shared moments, experiences, conversations that have meaning to those involved. May happen in short period of time, may build up over time. May be a once-off in person connection through a shared activity (e.g. travelling together) that moves to a virtual connection afterwards. May be a connection that becomes more meaningful as time progresses and more moments are shared.
It is through meaningful connections that most Hummingbirds have our friendships. We are able to connect with different people in different places at different times and do so meaningfully. The trick as a Hummingbird is to learn to hold onto these connections lightly. To treasure them for what they are, rather than seeking for them to be something else.
Through our different meaningful connections Gareth & I have friends globally. And we are open to making new meaningful connections as we pursue our latest interests. Both of us have connections that have grown over time, that have longevity. We both have connections that were made through a shared special experience. Each of us has friends with whom we spend time regularly and we both have friends we only see periodically when we are travelling the world. We have learnt to value those who are close to us whilst holding them lightly in our hearts. And we have both found that our friends, whether Hummingbirds or other, value the time and experiences they share with us. We all understand that what matters in our friendship is the quality of the connection rather than the quantity.
And even when two Hummingbirds become friends I have found that we have a range of shared interests as well as ones that are completely separate. The joy, I find, is that both of us is curious to learn from the other about our interests even where we have no desire to share them. And the friendship flourishes where we both celebrate what we share and cheer on each other’s diverse interests.
The pleasure I find where I am friends with people who are other than a Hummingbird is that they have a depth of passion in particular interests that I can learn from and add to from my own broad completely unique perspective. However, I have also learnt that for such friendships to flourish both parties need to accept that the Hummingbird will never be solely interested in what the other is passionate about. And vice versa.
Friendships take effort. Whether you are part of a close knit group or have a range of meaningful connections or a combination of these, you need to invest your self into growing friendships. Make time to communicate, to plan together, to share experiences, to discuss the deep & meaningful as well as the mediocre & the ludicrous. And do so with the intent of growing something beautiful, whilst keeping only a light hold. As a Hummingbird you need to fly. As do those who are connected to you.