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Coaching to Empower You

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  • Writer's pictureDawn E Geschiere

Meaningful Connections & Venn Diagrams

Updated: Jun 11

Dear One,

Think of yourself as part of a Venn Diagram! Now, isn’t that a fun image?

There’s you, living smack dab in the middle of your circle. You’re going about your day, when you come across another person who’s living in the center of their own circle. As the two of you meet and connect, your circles overlap to share a bit of space for the time you’re together.

Here’s where it’s important to understand... there is always a Venn diagram when we’re interacting with another person.

Yes, I’m aware that Venn Diagrams do not typically refer to people. They’re usually referring to two or more distinct sets of things and the commonality between them. We’re completely coopting this illustration for ourselves.

Remember, the Venn Diagram's overlap reflects what the two sets have in common, consider what you share in common with any person you meet. The list is long--you're both human, you're both the protagonists in your own story, and so on and on it goes. When you’re engaging with a stranger you may never get beyond those basics in finding and filling in the overlap section.

Yet for that brief moment in time, you’re connected. What if you trust that there is overlap, trust in the commonality between the two of you? What does that give you and what does it matter?

It might be really hard to see, especially if that person’s energy isn’t jiving with your own energy, or they’re simply being “difficult,” a.k.a. “a jerk.” It may be so obvious that someone isn’t your cup of tea or your person, so why bother to notice what you share in common?

Human To Human Meaningful Connections & Venn Diagrams

The answer goes to a fundamental belief in the other person’s value and worth, even when there's not a shred of evidence. There’s also the reality that another individual may not be interested in finding the overlap between you. Or, maybe this human being doesn’t have time or interest or share the belief that we’re all worthy, that we each have value.

You and I cannot waste a minute of our time focusing on whether another person wants to create a beautiful Venn diagram together. You're not responsible for another’s beliefs or interests or energy or actions. You're only responsible for yourself. The same is true for me. (Ah, what a relief.)

Which is what makes me hold on to the image of our Venn Diagram whether or not I see it in evidence. It’s one of the reasons I’ll pause long enough to notice the other person’s circle, to offer someone a smile or a simple greeting without an expectation that she will notice mine.

Here’s what I’ve experienced time and time again. I never regret taking a pause to greet someone with a warm hello or a smile or a quick inquiry as to how their day is going.

Inevitably I discover some sort of brief meaningful connection. Within this momentary human encounter lives our Venn Diagram (even if that person is not at all my person and never will be forever and ever amen). In a world where there is plenty of fracture and disconnection, it's helpful to connect meaningfully for a moment in time.

Parenting Through A Venn Diagram

As odd as it may sound to apply a Venn Diagram perspective to the relationship between you and your child, you’ll find that it offers you a unique visual parenting perspective.

Each of your children has a name–the one you carefully selected. Your child is living their own one-of-a-kind story.

Though there’s plenty of obvious familial DNA overlap between you and your child, this Venn Diagram exercise offers you a big-picture perspective. Not only will a Venn Diagram show you the intersection between you and your child--it reminds you of your child as a separate, distinct being.

Seeing Venn Diagrams Everywhere

Venn Diagram imagery will remind you of the differences between you and each person within your circle of family and friends. Who doesn’t need a reminder that each of you gets to be your own person, the protagonist of your own story?

Pay attention to the overlap area between your circles as a way to remember what you share in common, especially when you're beginning to drift apart. In naming what you have in common, you’re able to cultivate, fertilize, and tend this common ground.

Each meaningful connection in your day offers you a gift, keeps you present and makes your life more vibrant. The same is true for me.

What’s here for you today, dear one? I hope you'll pause to give yourself a hot minute or two. Jot down a few thoughts. Perhaps draw your own Venn Diagrams between yourself and someone else. I’m wildly curious to see what you find.


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