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The Art of Connecting

We crave connection. It is a human need.

Numerous studies have proven that people who feel connected to others are happier, feel less anxiety and depression, have fewer health problems, and live longer.

The tricky thing about connection is that everybody feels connection differently. We also live in an era when we are less connected as a species. Our technology has been a great blessing but it has come at a cost of human connection.

Brené Brown said, “Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

You are 100% responsible for creating that energy with others. We all need connection. If you are not feeling connected you are not creating it.

Try these three simple tricks that will help you create more connections:

1. Be yourself - stop editing yourself

In order to create connection with others, you need to first feel connected to yourself.

In order to feel connected with yourself, you need to love yourself. You need to love your crazy and stop judging or editing yourself for others. Accept the fact that you are amazing. Everything about you is amazing, even your crazy. We all got crazy - we're human - that is part of the package.

So stop trying to be a different version of yourself. Just be 100% you. That is what the world needs. Our Heavenly Parents did not make a mistake when they created you. You were created to be exactly who you are.

Learning to be vulnerable creates a connection to others. When you can be 100% you and are willing to experience embarrassment is when you find your people. Being willing to be vulnerable with others creates trust and deeper connections and friendships.

2. Know your Needs - and Communicate them

I hate talking on the phone. This is a family trait that my sisters and I share. We view the invention of texting as one of the greatest inventions ever created. My mother loved the phone. She refused to learn to text. She wanted to hear your voice. She needed that to feel connected to us.

My husband not only loves a good phone conversation but he has upped the anty and really doesn't feel connected unless we Facetime. You know I must really love the guy because my husband and I Facetime at least 3 times a day.

Connection comes in many forms and what produces the feeling of connection is different for everybody. Do you know what you need? How do you feel valued and seen?

Don't be afraid to communicate those needs. People are not mind readers. It isn't other people's jobs to figure out how we feel valued. In order to be heard and valued in a relationship you need to know what you need to feel valued.

It isn't wrong to ask for what you need. Sometimes we feel like if we have needs we are being demanding.

When my family and friends communicate with me how they feel valued I view it as a gift. They have told me what pleases them and when I think I make other people feel happy, I get to feel happy and that feels fabulous!

It's ok to have needs but give people the benefit of the doubt. Communicate your needs but if people don't fulfill those needs, don't make it mean something about your relationship or yourself.

Realize people are doing the best they can. I promise you that thought will help you feel more connected 100% of the time.

3. Manage your Thoughts

Take the time to examine the relationships in your life that you feel the most connection with. Ask yourself why do you feel a connection in these relationships? I guarantee you that you feel connected to them because of a thought.

All of our feelings of connection comes from our thoughts, so how you think about others is essential to creating the feeling of connection.

I am blessed with many wonderful girlfriends in my life. Some of these friends I don't see for years. Even the ones who live in my neighborhood I rarely see daily, let alone weekly. But I feel completely connected and loved by these friends.

How do I feel connected with my friends even if I'm not physically with them? I feel connected to them because I think lovely thoughts about them. I look for evidence of how I love them. How their crazy is perfect. How I am lucky to have them in my circle. That they are a true gift in my life.

I have no idea what my friends think of me. That is not my business. My business is to love them. To learn from them. To show up as the friend I want to be.

Don't be afraid of connection, you need it. Your spirit needs it. Human connection doesn’t just happen magically; it is an art and, like all crafts, requires patience, collaboration and hard work. The art of connecting can be learned.

Examine what areas of your life you want to create more connection and make some personal goals. I would love to continue the conversation, book a call with me and we can discuss how you can create more connections in your life. Developing this skill benefits all areas of your life.

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