Brene Brown defines connection as: 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.
When you’re truly connected with someone else, your trust in that person expands, and your relationship is strengthened. Too often, we don’t take the time to truly connect with others. We may speed through our day, connecting more with our technology than real people. Or maybe we only half-listen to others as we multi-task, trying to get one more thing done before day's end.
When true connections are absent, it’s easier for misunderstandings among us and other people to occur. We need to slow down and be physically, emotionally and energetically present with the people we’re with.
Each interaction is an opportunity for something more than just a transactional exchange of goods or information; we can approach each interaction with more presence to foster a heartfelt connection, and help someone feel seen, heard, valued.
I love this Social Connections exercise from Barbara Frederickson.
If you don't want to do the full scale, you can bring to mind your social interactions and reflect on questions such as these:
During my three longest social interactions:
o I felt fully present with the person I was with
o I felt connected to the person I was with
o I felt that the interaction was a positive one
How did you fare? Could your interactions benefit from more presence?
Reflect on how might your life be different if your three longest interactions each day are life giving rather than life draining, if they are sources of strength rather than disappointment?
Perhaps you want to set a goal of seeking out at least 3 interactions each day during which you are fully present and create a heartfelt connection.