Puzzled

I’ve told people time after time that I don’t bond with others easily.  I’m very selective about who I’m friends with. I’m slow to trust and my biggest weakness is being quick to dismiss people from my life. I am wary of getting close to people and being vulnerable.

When you’ve earned my trust, I’m fiercely loyal, and I’d do anything for you. But it takes time and effort to get to that point. On the other hand, I often think that the word introvert was created for people like me: people who take a lot of time to process thoughts and hate being interrupted when we try to share those thoughts. I can also be moody and broody; I hold grudges and don’t forgive easily. I find it easier to work alone, and big group settings aren’t my cup of tea.

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Perplexit Puzzle Room

So, it was a huge jump for me to propose going to the Perplexit Puzzle Room with some people I work with. We all have different personalities, and I have different levels of friendship with them. But I had read about puzzle rooms in magazines and was very interested in doing one.

To get ready, we met at Tumbleweeds Restaurant for dinner and discussed strategy. Of course, with a mixture of personalities, there was a mixture of input. I had zero plans. All I knew was that I was hoping to go and have fun…and get out of the room in the allotted time! We got to the Perplexit venue excited and ready for some puzzle solving.

The room we went to was called Gemini. The backstory was that one of the brothers was attacked and left in a coma, and his brother was nowhere to be found. The team would have to solve the mystery of the two brothers and get out of the room in under an hour. I can’t go into specifics, but I can say that I learned a lot about the team and myself in the process.

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The Puzzlemaster, Sarah, was extraordinary. She answered all of our questions and most importantly she made it feel like it was about us. Another friend and I stayed after we finished our game and heard her story about how she and her father designed the business together and how Perplexit got to where it is now. I was amazed by her business plan, and I was inspired by the way she had a passion and followed it.

Ultimately, I was impressed by Sarah because she enjoyed seeing someone else’s happiness. In a world where people can be egocentric and in search of praise for their accomplishments, it was refreshing to see someone who was so giving and attentive to the people she was around…and I think that’s the most important thing I took from the evening.

Sure, I gained some new thinking skills and learned how to think “outside of the box.” But I think I learned even more about the importance of making everyone on the team feel like they have something to offer. It’s not about one individual’s personal gain or one person getting attention. It’s about coming together and recognizing everyone’s unique strengths. It’s about communicating those strengths in a way that others don’t feel inadequate. It’s about being a community rather than an individual.

Are these lessons that I have mastered completely now that I’ve gone through this exercise? Of course not. But awareness is the first step in becoming a better person. And I think that I’m ready to take that step…with the right team by my side.

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