I feel so seen and understood! I’m naturally a connector (even though I guess we don’t call ourselves that lol) but because of job pressures and my own ego I did more networking earlier in my career. It was often actually my job to “network” and size up a room and see who would be most beneficial. And I hated it, felt drained and made mostly empty contacts. When I showed up as more of myself and with genuine interest, things flowed more naturally. Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to try to connect genuinely as friends with people and that it doesn’t make me weak or unprofessional. It’s just authenticity.