Some people strongly believe you must separate your personal life from your work life. For some that is easy because they have the mindset of “who really cares anyway?” For others it isn’t easy. In this age of social media, we have the ability to connect with people anytime, anywhere, any way. But the fact is, we have actually done just the opposite. We do not connect with people or invest in building and enhancing personal relationships. So, how do we share our lives with those around us, but also separate your personal life from your work life?

We were created to work together, help each other, invest in each other. The challenge is actually finding a balance. Is anybody really interested to know what someone else had for dinner last night or the next concert they will be attending? However, things that give us a reason to celebrate should definitely be shared. When you are rejoicing, let others rejoice with you. When you’re hurting, choose one or two people that you are close to and allow them to be your listening ear. Maybe they’re in the workplace, maybe they are not. It is important to truly get a feel for how people are before you share your life stories. Share positive things so people can celebrate with you. But never share too much. There are consequences to sharing personal information. This can apply: “Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, Lest he become weary of you and hate you” (Proverbs 25:17). We don’t want our coworkers or customers to become weary of us. We also don’t want to make the conversation all about us when we need to focus on our customers.

A good working relationship can be enhanced when you show empathy. Everyone is going through stuff right now. Start with a smile. Sometimes all someone needs is a smile. When you talk on the phone, your customers can hear the smile on your face. It’s important to not only share positive things from your life, but to also seek to find the positives things in the lives of the people you are in contact with. When there is an equal, two-way conversation, you’ll see how your relationships flourish.