To all of you who feel like it’s incredibly hard to reach out to people. I SO get you.
A couple days ago, a friend of me shared that he was afraid to go into the kitchen of his new shared appartment.
I immediately felt less alone, as he shared that. I know that feeling, when you feel just not ready to engage with new people and it becomes harder and harder to reach out.
It’s very likely that you know that feeling too. Why?
The bigger picture
Here is the two most common secrets of people:
1) “I am flawed.”
2) “I cannot connect well to others.”
It’s a bummer. It was a bummer for me when I heard it the first time. Wait, I am just like everybody else? Everybody is having these insecurities? And most people are just playing a game to hide this??? Why on earth would we do this?
So let’s stop pretending and start sharing.
Loneliness is the single biggest issue of our time.
It is costing us A LOT.
It’s not just you, it’s universal.
It’s something that we have to work on individually and as a society.
We have to find and create spaces for connection. It’s much more important, than anything you could ever buy.
What can I do about it for myself?
Right now, I am travelling alone, and to be honest, as much as I long to be able to talk to random strangers openly and easily, it seems pretty scary.
So as an alternative there are events, I could just join. It takes some effort to find them, and then it takes a lot to actually go there. Did this ever happen to you? You wanted to do something new and then all kinds of logical reasons come up why now is a very bad time to do it? Welcome to the club.
We are in it together
Today, after a week of putting off to going to a social event in a new place, I finally went. And I had the most beautiful revelation: It’s hard for others to connect too!!
I applied a genius technique: I spotted someone who was standing alone and asked what brought him/her here.
So in a way, I helped that person feel more comfortable and welcome. And at the same time, I warmed myself up.
Please DO approach people who look at a smartphone at a social event. Nobody goes to a social event to look at a smartphone. People go to social events to connect, and when they are afraid, they check their phone pretending to be super busy. Approach the person, show them that they are welcome and appreciated, you might just make their day.
Now, I am curious about you. When is it hard for you to connect? When do you feel lonely? What have you tried? What worked for you? What didn’t work? And I always wonder: What can we do as communities to be more inviting for connection?