“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued…”
Do you ever walk somewhere in public and find yourself feeling like you’re surrounded by a bunch of robots? I know I do. It is as if people have a “public mode” button that they switch on as soon as they step foot outside their homes. The tendency to avoid public interactions with strangers is only increasing. I think this is happening due to a combination of factors including the fact that it has become a norm. Not to mention, the increase of social anxiety, and people busy being in their own worlds. Whether they are on their phones the entire time they’re in public, or being mentally occupied, in other words, busy thinking about their lives (e.g. what am I going to have for lunch today?). Don’t get me wrong, I am guilty of these things myself, but I am making an effort to change this habit and to connect more. I’m doing this for myself just as much as I’m doing it for others.
Why it’s important:
I think that the world would be a much better place to live in if people changed these habits and norms of being disconnected from each other. Smiling at strangers has become less and less common these days. Little things that create a connection between people could do wonders. A smile could change someone’s entire day. We need to be more connected, and more loving towards not only the people in our lives, but also the public. People will feel more at ease being in public if everyone was more open and connected with each other. We all have our struggles and we all face tough times, yet there is a lack of support between people. If we interacted more with each other instead of avoiding public interactions, we would all truly feel closer as a species. I think that increasing human connection can result in wonderful things. The world would be a much more peaceful, kind and loving place. I know I would love to live in that kind of world.
How to do it:
- Smile at strangers more – (Especially when someone looks like they’re not okay.)
- “How are you?” Ask and answer this genuinely. – I think people shouldn’t ask “how are you?” unless they want to know the real answer. I think we should all start asking genuinely, and answering it genuinely too. You don’t have to put up a front and pretend you’re okay when you’re not.
- Talk to people – Don’t be afraid to talk to whoever is around you. You don’t have to sit down and have a full on conversation with a stranger, but you can have small talk. When I say small talk I don’t mean passively mumbling “hi, how are you?”. An example I could give is say you’re in line at a coffee shop, you can ask the person in front of you how their day is going, or ask them what their favorite drink is from that coffee shop. I know someone is reading this and thinking “No I can’t do that. That’s weird… and awkward!” I feel the same way, but this is because we are so used to being disconnected that it is odd if we talk to a stranger, or vice versa. Although, I can guarantee that both parties will feel good at the end of the conversation.
- Help others – If you see someone struggling with something or if you see any opportunity to help someone, DO IT. It is good karma for you, and in turn you will be making someone feel very grateful.
- Show compassion – If someone looks sad, don’t be afraid to go up to them and ask if they’re doing okay, or try to make them smile/laugh. I know I’ve been in situations where I was fighting back tears in public, and I would have felt a lot better if someone would have shown any sort of care or compassion towards me.
- Practice makes perfect – The more interactions you have with people, the more natural it will feel. Like with everything in life… the more you do it, the better you get at it.
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson.
Remember to be kind, show compassion, and connect with the world around you.
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