continued from February Newsletter 2021 Understanding Connection by Stacy Reuille-Dupont
There are a few things to make sure you don’t do.
Don’t be fake. For connection to be strong, we must feel that the person trying to connect with us is genuine and authentic. Ever been to a sales meeting where you knew the person was just asking you questions to use in arguments later? That they were working to make it harder for you to say no on closing the deal so they could make some money off you? It feels icky. Don’t be that person.
Don’t overshare too quickly. Although it is important to show vulnerability we also want to create appropriate boundaries for the type of relationship we are connecting in. I’m not asking you to bear your soul’s deepest woundings, but sharing some of your struggle helps others relate to you. It is important to share appropriately with different people. Not everyone has earned the privilege of hearing your story. Be discerning and share appropriately. Different relationships have different levels of intimacy. The way you build intimacy is sharing a little and seeing if the other person will match your share. They share and you share, Over time these sharing pieces deepen knowing and understanding between people. This step takes time, trust, and respect. Remember it is an honor to be given someone’s story, be reverent.
This month, make a commitment to connect more. Connect to yourself - personal goals, inspiration, and physical sensation. Then “reach out” and connect with others. Connection can look a lot of ways. It can be as simple as meeting up with a friend, finding an online interest group you can share in, smiling at the convenience store clerk, or hugging your partner everyday. Make eye contact, ask questions, and offer compliments. Tell someone you enjoy their company. Take the daily uplifting comment challenge and send a short text, email, or voice message to someone, try to make it different people each day, you care about telling them a positive thing about them.
When we relationally connect we help build our immune systems, repair damaged tissue, and mitigate stress. When we connect we build understanding, as we build understanding we are more likely to find common ground and it gets harder to oppress and marginalize others. Connection helps our society get better; connection heals us from the inside out.