As human beings, we crave love and connection with others. As global pandemic restrictions and social distancing approach the one-year mark, maintaining that essential connection requires focus and effort.
We are not currently able to participate in group activities like sports, theater, or in-person classes that naturally promote connection.
What exactly is connection? Essentially, connection is having shared experiences, relatable feelings, or similar beliefs or opinions. It is when there is a sense of “oneness” and belonging to something greater than ourselves.
As essential as connection is, there is no real way that we are taught how to foster authentic connection with others. I happened to come across one thing we can all do to develop greater personal connection at a time when we need it most.
As a family lawyer by trade, why am I writing about connection? And what do I know about it?
After seeing families fall apart every day – including my own when I was a child – I started to notice a pattern. I saw how each and every couple and family had become hopelessly disconnected – in ways that ultimately lead to misunderstandings, anger, heartache, fear, sadness, anxiety, and a general sense of feeling out of control.
That’s when I became all about helping people take charge by communicating and connecting to bring about cooperation. That way, they are able to more quickly and amicably reach agreements on the decisions that matter most.
So, what is the one thing we can do to develop greater connection with others in our daily lives?
As hard as it can be, we have to be willing to be vulnerable. Willing to keep trying, keep showing up for others, and reaching out. In other words, we have to be willing to get out there and trust others – those who will value and respect our time and efforts.
Research professor and bestselling author, Brené Brown, can readily be considered an expert on trust and vulnerability. In fact, Dr. Brown came up with the acronym B.R.A.V.I.N.G as an actionable test to determine whether or not we can trust someone, which is comprised of the following: Boundaries; Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non-Judgment, and Generosity. I highly recommend checking it out here.
In these unusual times, it is up to us to think of new and creative ways to reach out to our loved ones and others within our families and communities, and beyond. And to be willing to trust – over and over. Because it is only when we see that others love and respect us for who we are, how we think and feel, that we learn to accept and love ourselves. And it is then that our relationships can truly flourish.
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