Both having a sense of Community and building strong Connections are values that Revive embodies. When we’re connected to others, we’re more fulfilled and whole. However, not all contact is connection, and therefore, not all relationships fill us up. So, how do we seek out those that do and create that sense of wholeness in our lives? Start with these six steps:
- Through shared experience
This is more than having something in common with another person. Rather, similar to our blog on values, when we share an experience with someone else (like learning to rock climb or watching the Final Four) we are creating connections through something memorable. Think of an experience that brought you joy. Who were you with? Did you meet anyone or did you bring along someone special?
- Through familiarity
This can literally mean through family, by blood, marriage, etc. OR it can mean the groups of people you elect to spend time with. Sometimes we don’t choose our communities, like with siblings, parents, or cousins. Other times, we enter into a community, like with what school you go/went to, going to book club meetings, or following the same sports teams. Both can serve as platforms for greater connection.
- Focus on belonging over fitting in
Hold on, aren’t these synonyms? Actually, they’re far from it. If you aren’t a Brene Brown fan, then we’ll explain what we mean when we differentiate the two. When we try to fit in, we tend to take on the persona that we think someone else wants to spend time with. When we try to belong, we seek out those who allow us to embrace our authentic selves. Think about who in your life you feel most like yourself around.
- Look to where/when you feel most safe and nurtured
The safer we feel, the more vulnerable we can be, and the more vulnerable we are, the stronger connection we can make. Who leans on you and who can you lean on? Who is calling you to check in on you and who are you checking in on?
- Reflect on changes
Over time, our relationships evolve and that’s ok. Our friendships can change as we change. You may or may not be close with your friends from high school or college or your old job. There are a number of reasons as to why that’s the case. One of those reasons could be your growth. As you’ve grown, notice who has grown with you and maybe who you’ve grown out of or away from.
- Let go of judgements
When we harbor judgements towards others, we close ourselves off and build walls, which is essentially the opposite of building a connection. Think about a judgement you recently made (we all do it!) and imagine that judgement as a ruler. Now, imagine all of the judgements you’ve ever made. That ruler probably turned into a meter and then a marathon real quick. The point is, judgements = distance. When we let go of judgements, we close the gap.
Catherine at Revive