Wiggle room / by Evan La Ruffa

When interacting with the world, we’re always calibrating to figure out where we fit in amid the current landscape.

“What does someone like me do in a situation like this?” … as Seth Godin might say.

In a recent post about personality testing, I touched on the notion that we can test out who we are, what feels right to us, and what it is we want to be.

Wiggle room is a related idea. It has to do with specifications, stories we tell ourselves, and fit. Wiggle room is the space we give ourselves to operate outside logic, outside measurables, outside fact.

Most of us love to think we’re not one of the billions of humans who have ALL done this. But we are. Each one of us cuts logical corners, cherry picks, and externalizes the information that doesn’t jive with who we perceive ourselves to be.

Wiggle room can also pertain to our ability to step back from that reflexive way of being in a way that makes us softer to others.

Sure, we can get hung up on the little differences. They buy this, we buy that. They do this, we do that.

While I don’t see this organizational way of thinking leaving us anytime soon, I do think we have something to gain by using the wiggle room we often ignore to be more open to others - because the superficial variations just don’t matter that much.

Wiggle room is as much for us as it is for them. It’s a gift.

And if people like me (you) use that space to connect instead of divide, everyone we interact with will be one step closer to allowing themselves some wiggle room too.