We can all say we want better relationships, and most of us know that being honest and dependable are some of the usual requirements, but what about the more subtle yet profoundly important aspects we need to get better at to connect? Read on to see where you are and what you might want to improve upon.
Real Connection Requires Vulnerability. Like I talk about on the show today, when we grow up in a family where it often wasn’t safe to be vulnerable, we create coping skills that are often avoidant, aggressive or passive-aggressive. This makes it very difficult to connect genuinely with others because we aren’t being real and honest.
Real Connection Requires Earned Trust. Over time, through many moments, we build trust with one another by staying within our own skin, following though on promises, being honest, and not betraying their faith in us, and they do the same. Trust is SO fragile and is tricky to build back when broken, if we ever can. If you preserve nothing else in a relationship, focus on trust because all the other great stuff rests upon it.
Real Connection Means Healthy Risking. This means speaking your truth in a loving way and letting go of the outcome, whether that be your fear of their reaction or what they might do. Or how they might see you. We can’t be honest and authentic if we are still manipulating people and situations. We can’t have both.
Real Connection Requires Good Boundaries. We need to share are true feelings, our underlying fears, and receive the healing that can come from the other person validating and honoring that. We also need to be able to step outside of ourselves and demonstrate real empathy and compassion, which requires us to be able to detach and see them as separate.
In essence, any time we try to control anything either overtly with chiding, nagging or fixing, or covertly by avoiding and people pleasing, we cannot connect in genuine ways – because not one of those behaviors demonstrates vulnerability. If we want to connect, we need to risk. Within reason. And see how it goes…