The question is can you cheat real connection? One of the things I would like to be is a better friend. You know. The one that remembers your birthday, sends you flowers when something big happens, and makes time for you no matter how busy we are. Thoughtfulness. I know that is where real connection happens. It is about getting out of our own routines and business to make time for those that we care about or want to care about. There is no shortcut.
“Live-tweeting your bikini wax is not vulnerability. Nor is posting a blow-by-blow of your divorce. That’s an attempt to hot-wire connection. But you can’t cheat real connection. It’s built up slowly. It’s about trust and time.” Brene Brown
I truly believe that this life is about two things – cultivating connection and kindness. That’s it. When I strip everything away those two ideas keep coming back. This is true about my work in marketing and my life in a small town/global community.
We are trying to shortcut real connection by being distracted by online likes, hearts and moments. Sure, those can become real friends, but even then it takes real connection. You have to comment, build a relationship and put the time in even online.
How to Create Real Connection
I’m not going to lie, you have to take time and spend energy. There isn’t a shortcut for real connection. You have to commit. So what are some of the ways you can be the better friend (obviously, this list is for me as much as it is for you!)?
- Always be there. Even when it is uncomfortable.
- Tell the truth. Even when it is hard.
- Listen. Shut your motor mouth and hear what the other person is saying.
- Be happy for them. Shut down your inner jealousy to celebrate their wins.
- Forgive. Honestly, people will let you down, but you can move through it.
- Show up. Go to their art show, support their Jamberry party on Facebook, go to their dance recital.
- Stop giving advice unless they ask for it. You aren’t better than them – everyone is your equal.
- Make small gestures. Send them coffee, pick up that something special you saw while on vacation, make them something sweet – whatever. It doesn’t have to be expensive; it’s about thoughtfulness.
- Show your inner 9 year old. Life isn’t always super serious and if you can laugh together you can start to build some trust.
- Make time. Relationships don’t happen overnight. You have to make time to help them grow.
What are your ideas? How are you building real relationships in your work, personal and online life? I’d love to hear!