Are you really connecting?
In today’s society, where we often rely on technology for communicating, the idea of not only meeting people but having strong connections with those we know can prove to be more challenging. Now this technology I speak of, is great – don’t get me wrong – I do rely on it as my main tool of communication; it’s easy, convenient and fast.
However, no matter how great (or fun) it is, nothing replaces being with real people. I think because we are so used to being able to hide behind our computer, or phone, we lose touch with how to communicate with others. You may think the idea behind this is silly, but how many of you know people who are constantly texting on their phones or checking updates while they’re having a conversation? Though this may not seem like a huge deal, as most of us do it; by not engaging we’re missing out on those connections – and after all isn’t that part of the joy of having a relationship – connecting with someone.
Social Tips for the Introvert (or anyone)
Now as an awkward introvert I get it, being social can be a bit of a panic attack, but there are a few tips that I’ve picked up from back in my acting days that can actually be pretty helpful. These tips aren’t limited to introverts like me, they can pretty much be applied to anyone; you may even call it social etiquette. The great thing about these points, is that they can pretty much be applied to anything.
This is probably the greatest gift we can give, not only to each other but to ourselves. When we are present we able to receive information and let it register; we are more aware and engaging. Give the person you’re conversing with your attention – yes this means putting away the phone. Emergency calls aside, if a person is texting while someone else is talking it kind of renders the conversation pointless.
Take in what the other person is saying – ask questions, take an interest. Have you ever heard the term “active listener” – it’s about being engaged in the conversation. There will be times when all someone needs is to be heard, so don’t feel obligated to ask questions – just be there for that person. Be supportive.
One of the things we were often taught was giving gifts to the other actors – not physical gifts – gifts in the sense of allowing them to play off something, more so, golden opportunities. This is really about giving to the other person. Though it can be fun to do the talking – especially after something exciting has just occurred – it’s important to remember the conversation doesn’t revolve around one person.
My theory on relationships is give and take – I feel there needs to be a mutual benefit for both parties, we need to constantly be learning, teaching, giving and sharing. What separates the great relationships from the average ones is effortlessness. It’s interesting to hear what makes a great relationship from one person to the other – there are no right or wrong answers – but there is definitely diversity in responses.
It’s important to remember that while we can all be civil and respectful of one another, it doesn’t mean we’re all going to get along famously – some relationships work, some don’t. I’m a firm believer that one can’t force a relationship – perhaps it’s on an energy level, or it’s to do with pheromones, but at the end of the day, it’s about being true to who you are.
We can learn a lot, even from those experiences that we would rather hide under the sheets. The more we are present, the more we listen and give gifts to others, the more we’re going to learn about ourselves. After all, “people are only a perception of our own thoughts.”
As a challenge to my generation of technology infused individuals – take a break from the bright screen and show yourself to the world, who knows who you’ll meet or what you’ll find, but it all starts with being present.
Let us know if you do!!
Alison Klektau is a Nutritional Muse. She is here to inspire and guide you to live your life optimally, through incorporating simple, practical and most importantly, holistic lifestyle choices to release that incredible being within each of us. Alison is currently studying at The Institute of Holistic Nutrition (IHN) where she is working towards being a certified holistic nutritionist. Prior to enrolling at IHN, she earnedher BFA in theatre and film studies from the University of Victoria.