This isn’t expressly about the Me-Too Movement from a while back. That was specifically concerning women who had been sexually exploited, coming forward in a sad sisterhood of sorts.
Nor is this about something as particular as “I had Covid. Yeah, me too.” Although this “me-too” is likely accompanied by an eye roll or a wide-eyed exclamation of acknowledgement.
When I casually asked, “how are you?” He answered, “I’m ready to go home, but I’ve been ready to go home since I got here.” I was shocked to feel myself light up, when I said, “me too.” He lit up too.
It’s funny, not ha-ha funny, but ironic when those two simple words, “me too,” can bring comfort no matter the circumstance promoting them. In fact, one feels heartened when your negative experiences have been validated by another human being going through the same negative stuff. One feels known like at no other moment.
Camaraderie helps. “Been there, done that,” or “I hear you,” “I know what you mean,” or abbreviated, “I know,” all say, “me too,” with an exclamation point.
Even if your boat’s sinking, someone else in it with you makes it less tragic. Feeling understood helps us navigate any emotion. Why else do you think we have clubs, as in “welcome to the club;” or support groups for this, that, and the other thing.
A cashier in the grocery store can morph into a sibling if you share a “me too” moment. It can be as simple as you both hate summer, love summer, detest coffee and love chai tea. Or it can be as unusual as sharing a birthday or your moms are the same age.
“Me too,” draws us close. We can be oh so distant until we’ve shared a “me too” moment. Then, we’re blood relatives.
Companions in misery are just as close as comrades in battle or teammates in a game. Those who share “me too” experiences are just as bound, even if only briefly, as a prison chain gang. Even if you have a million differences, just one “me too” variable can trigger your “I like you” hormones.
For example, maybe you hold opposite political ideologies and you believe in different religions but you both love animals. That one, “me too” factor will draw you together even if it’s only for a second.
People will come out of hiding when they realize they aren’t alone. Even loners don’t feel so alone when they know there are other loners out there. They’ll still prefer being alone but they’ll be comforted that they will never be lonesome because of their “me too” knowledge.
If you don’t relate your experience no one can relate to it and you won’t expand your universe of relatives. Every skilled conversationalist knows that you maintain a conversation by a back and forth “me-too” banter which includes a fair amount of “right,” and “I know.”
Self-disclosure and open communication are vital tools in gifting others with the spark of feeling that “me too,” esprit de corps. So, when someone asks, “how are you,” maybe a response just a little more elaborate than “fine, thank you,” would be a beginning.
Scientists believe that contagious yawning is a social communication tool of higher thinking animals, indicating that we humans are more vigilant toward each other than we’re aware. Like yawning, “me-too agreement” is an indicator that we just might be more like our fellow humans than we are different. And that seems to be a good thing in such a divided world.