Five Easy Changes to Create Connection
By far the most common complaint I hear among people in counseling is the lack of connection. Loneliness is epidemic and nobody seems to know how to do anything about it.
You see, it's not about how many friends you have on social media or how often you go out. If those things are superficial, it can lead to feeling even more lonely.
So, what do you do? Here are 5 easy changes to create more connection.
Have Long Lunches
Eating good food releases endorphins that make you feel good. Since neurons that fire together wire together, eating with people you like helps to create connection.
Want to super size that? Have long lunches.
My girlfriends and I are the queens of the long lunch. We give each other as much time as we need to feel seen and heard, laugh, and get all our stories out. Since real life means we don't get together all that much, this is incredibly bonding and feeds those relationships.
Put The Phone Away
We don't have a "no phone" rule. If there is a young child at home, someone in the hospital or something like that, you've got to take that phone call.
If that's not the case, let it go to voice mail.
Whoever is in front of me has my full attention always.
Being curious and open leads to great questions and learning more about each other. It helps both people feel seen, understood, important, and connected.
Many of us get to the point where we think we have people figured out, so we stop paying attention and stop discovering. This can lead to boredom and assumptions.
Let Go of Judgments
There is no self-esteem killer like judgments.
If I don't feel good or safe around you, I won't feel connected to you.
Imagine how it would feel to tell someone something personal only to have them throw it back in your face later. Or imagine that you hear your story repeated back to you by a gossip! Yikes!
Everybody does things they aren't proud of. Everyone is flawed. Being compassionate and understanding removes the pretense of being perfect so you can connect more deeply with others.
See the Good, Interesting, and Beautiful
We aren't great liars. Humans have mirror neurons in our brains that pick up tiny differences that let us know what others are thinking.
If you think the person you are with is ugly, shameful, or boring, it will show.
So, find the good, interesting, and beautiful instead. We all have two sides.
When we reflect the bright side, the loveliness comes out. Wouldn't you rather experience that?
If we are not connecting, we're not relating. Relating is a learned skill.
If you're not good at it, don't worry. You can be. You just need to learn how. Let me know your go to tips for connecting below.