“There is an intense hunger for genuine community where people feel related in truly human ways.”
–J. Douglas Holladay
Now that we’re quite a ways out of the pandemic closet, we get to start reconnecting in person with other human beings. Whew! That almost suffocated us, didn’t it? Especially those who had to be in almost total isolation for so long.
Vivek Murthy wrote:
“Today, over 40 percent of adults in America report feeling lonely, and research suggests that the real number may well be higher.” Rob Kaplan, former Harvard Business School professor and now president and CEO of the Dallas Fed said, “In my experience, one of the key impediments to reaching our potential is isolation.”
So what is a good way to make even greater connections with people than we had before?
■ Maybe consider talking to each other at deeper levels than just, “How are you doing?” Perhaps when checking in with people, draw from your list of inner kindnesses, like Mark Nepo suggests, “Do you need any affirmation? Clarity? Support? Understanding?”
■ Or simply ask, “How has it changed you to have gone through this last year? Is there anything at all I can do for you?” And then just stop talking and listen. When they answer, reflect back to them what you heard them say and listen again, because they WILL say more. You both will feel more connected.
Focus this week on connecting with people more intentionally:
● Listen really well.
● Ask questions that show real empathy and curiosity (see above)
● Actively reflect back feelings.
● Celebrate with those that are celebrating
● Feel with those who are feeling strongly
● Make someone’s day through how you relate to them!