The Name Game At Starbucks

Coffeeshops are pretty cool places. They have this relaxed, intimate, and simple vibe that make you want to settle in with a good book or do your work there. It’s become the go-to place for Christians to go on first dates. It usually goes a little something like, “Hey I think you’re really awesome and I can tell that there’s way more to you than I’ve seen, so would you like to go grab some coffee and get to know each other better?”

Yeah, I’ve used that line before. Or, if I’ve been super confident, I’ve even used, “So when can I take you to coffee?” Bold move. But it’s worked. Once.

Over the past two weeks or so, I have spent more time in the Wards Road Starbucks than I’ve ever spent in Starbucks. I’m currently writing this from none other than there. The staff knows me already. It’s sad. I’ve even applied for a job here, I’ve enjoyed it so much.

But there’s something that I’ve learned about interactions, relationships, and how we should treat others by sitting here day after day, both from the staff and from the customers.

People really enjoy being known.

It’s a simple concept, isn’t it? You can relate to this, I’m sure. You like that your best friends know you, and even that other people know your name. It almost makes you feel like a celebrity, doesn’t it?

When people know your name, it usually indicates that you have a relationship with them, whether as an acquaintance, or as something deeper and more meaningful as a friend. You feel safe with them. You know that they’re good people, and you can trust them to some degree.

It feels good being known by someone. It makes walking into situations much easier because you can at least count on being familiar with one person and not feeling super out of place. Ever wonder why third-wheels on dates are helpful? Because that person knows you and can help keep conversation from dying, help keep you from being awkward, and gives you a point of safety.

People enjoy being known because we are, by nature, relational beings. God made us to long for relationships, specifically with Him. But not only with Him. He made us to be connected with other people, to have people in our lives that we can trust and around whom we can be ourselves.

How does this play out in your life though? You don’t work at Starbucks, so why should knowing people’s names or being known by people matter to you?

You could very easily make someone’s day just by learning their name and using it once in a conversation with them. Especially in the church world, if you learn a guest’s name and call them by it in your interactions with them, they’re more likely to come back for a second time.

Someone once told me that the sweetest song anyone could ever hear is their name being said to them. And I can attest to this and affirm its accuracy; I feel much more welcomed and accepted when someone uses my name in conversation to address me.

Since people enjoy being known, make it a point to know someone today, even it’s just learning their name and using it once or twice. It’s not hard.

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