What does your circle look like? Notice I didn’t ask you how many Facebook friends you have or followers on Twitter and Instagram. Who do you let into your inner circle?
So many of us are looking for true and authentic connections. When you were growing up, you liked everyone small like you. Then your personality started developing and you weeded through those who looked like you but didn’t think like you and you developed a group or a click. Best friend, BFF, Besties or Bro started to surface and you vowed never to be apart. But as life happens – school, career, marriage, kids, and just stuff, your relationships changed and your circles got smaller.
Technology promises to make things easier, keep people more connected and informed but instead, it creates isolation and horrible social habits. Instead of bonding and building deeper connections we find ourselves creeping, prying, judging, and ignoring. We’ve replaced a visit with a phone call, shortened to a text, reduced to a “like”, and share our emotions through status updates and emoticons. Who are we? Are we really THAT busy and out of touch?
We have to stop the madness vs excepting what has become the “norm”. Why do we need a $1,000 phone to text our 5 friends and peruse FB’s mindless sea of drama?I a STOP!
Invite a friend to lunch to catch up (by the way, leave your phone at home or in another room) Remember, you can say “we should do lunch” until you are blue in the face but until you make a plan, it won’t happen. Make the first move! If you do this more often you can eventually stop “catching up” and start going deeper. Really sharing. Judith E. Glaser an Organizational Anthropologist says “When we actively share with others — sharing deep secrets, sharing what’s on our mind, sharing our fears, our dreams and our aspirations, the brain lights up like a Christmas tree. This behavior activates a high level of oxytocin, which is the neurotransmitter that enables us to bond and connect with others deeply”
You are connected with this friend because she/he shares some of your likes and values. Why not network and share connections to widen your circle. “There is a part of the brain that activates when we meet people. It’s called the “like me/not like me” part of the brain or the Rostromedial Prefrontal Cortex. When we think people are like us the RPC lights up and we connect easily. It’s like looking in the mirror and seeing more of ourselves — and we are comfortable.”
We are relational beings who thrive on connecting with others. To experience more joy in your life, make an intentional effort to adopt this idea as a practice. And practice it often!
CHALLENGE: Call a friend, make a date, share deeper. To experience more joy in your life, make an intentional effort to adopt this idea as a practice. And practice it often!
I know YOU can do it!
MUSIC: Featuring independent singer/songwriter, Heidi Burson. www.heidiburson.com