What Do We Have in Common?
I’m friends with a man that works on construction sites. Yesterday, he mentioned he’d just gotten off the tractor and was headed back to the shop. I had a picture of all this in my mind when he was telling me.
My grandparents had a farm and they had tractors. I can remember back as far as age seven, during hay season, my grandpa would lift me up on a tractor seat, hop up and swing his leg around behind me, fire up the beast, put it in first gear, then hop off. My job was to drive in very careful circles around the field, while the “hayboys” would buck bails onto the hay trailer in tow. I was pretty good at it!
There was a mishap once, when I was still small and didn’t weigh enough to hold down both the clutch and the brake at the same time so the tractor would stop, and the beast jerked forward and I ran into a small outbuilding and pushed it about a foot off its foundation. My grandpa was able to scramble up and throw his leg around me and kill the engine. My brother still makes fun of me…
I know truck drivers refer to their rigs as “tractor trailers”, so I wasn’t sure what my friend meant by “tractor”. Was it a truck? Or a tractor like the tractors I knew about? I told him of my experiences as a child on the farm and asked if it was the same.
“It’s the same,” he said.
“Next time you’re on the tractor, can you take a picture, so I know what you’re talking about?” I asked.
The picture came this morning. Apart from the fact it isn’t a 1930s model, it is the same kind of tractor I drove around the hay field!
What’s my point? Ask questions to identify what types of experiences you and your date have in common. Sharing stories about those experiences strengthens your connection. That’s the foundation for building meaningful relationships.