My life is much more enjoyable when I am interacting and connecting with others. I would much rather bring people along as I travel through life than take the journey as a solitary traveler. But how do we go about bringing others along on our life journey? Below are 4 suggestions for building connections with the people you’re going through life with:
Include them in what’s going on in your life
Share significant news with those closest to you. Don’t let them hear it through the grapevine. Give people some details about what you’re up to when they ask, instead of just saying, “Not much” or “I’m fine”. You don’t need to give a full account of every detail, or dump a bunch of bad news on folks, but let them know what you’re up to. How can we be encouraged or comforted by others, or be encouraging or comforting to others, if we don’t let each other know what’s going on in our lives?
Be interested in what others are doing
Going through life with others is not an exercise in collecting a supporting cast for ourselves. It is bi-directional. There is communication, concern, and caring that goes both ways. The best way we can show interest in others is to listen to them when they are telling us about something going on in their life. We can ask questions, not just for the sake of asking, but to learn more about them and how they’re feeling, what makes them tick, and what’s important to them. I think one of the greatest gifts we can give people is our genuine interested attention.
Ask people for help
People want to help those they know and like. For some reason thought, it is difficult to ask others for help, even when we could really use it. We need to work at getting better at asking for help. There’s no benefit to being a Lone Ranger, thinking we can figure a situation out all on our own. Plus, we rob others of the opportunity to be a potential blessing to us with the assistance they could provide.
Treat people well
Thank others when they assist or bless you. Tell them something you like or admire about them. Send an email, write a letter, or make a phone call of encouragement, gratitude, appreciation, or comfort. Depending on your relationship with them, let them know you love them.
When done genuinely, all of these steps require a degree of vulnerability. That vulnerability comes from taking a risk to open up and share our real-self with others. In doing so, we also give others a safe place to do likewise with us.