Connection is both an art and science.
Two basic components of communications are talking about yourself and asking questions of the other. In addition to the words you speak, consider your facial expression, tone of voice, volume and body posture.
Healthy Communication + Connection = Deeper Relationship
It is important to recognize we are relational beings. We are wired to connect with others.
Do you know what it means to connect well? In any relationship, the way we communicate impacts our ability to connect and draw people closer or disconnect and push people away.
Before you reach out to someone, check in with yourself.
“How am I feeling about myself and what do I think about myself?”
“How do I feel, and what do I think about the other person?”
“What is my motivation in having this conversation?”
Do you feel calm or emotionally charged? It is important to recognize how open your are to the conversation.
Next, check in with the other person and see how they open they are to a conversation. This will maximize the opportunity to be heard, and ensure that they will be receptive to what you are offering.
As you can see, your preparation may take longer than the actual conversation!
After you have spoken notice how they respond? Does it feel calm or emotionally charged? Does it feel like they have received what you are offering? This will help determine if you are feeling connected.
All of the above can help you achieve the best possible connection and ultimately feel closer to the other person.
Below is an article from PsychCentral newsletter entitled “10 Ways to Improve Connection” giving a step by step scenario to enhance connection.
Ralph was puzzled. While he struggled with social connection his whole life, he was making a conscious effort to be different now. Yet, the harder he tried to connect with his wife, kids, co-workers, and friends, the worse things got. The more he tried to “be real” by openly sharing his thoughts and feelings the more distant others became. His attempt at sharing his thoughts about how to improve his daughter’s art project was disastrous. This only encouraged him to withdraw even further and give up on his chances of connectivity.