How connected are you feeling today?
Researchers are beginning to highlight that one of the biggest impacts of lockdown has been the toll on connection. While virtual environments work for some, and are mainly what we have right now, they don’t work well when they’re forced. So if it feels like something is missing right now, it might not be people in general – but being in the “right” company; sharing space with like-minded people.
We live on a social continuum with a desire for company at one end, and solitude on the other. We are tribal by nature which means we are naturally drawn to being in groups and socialising, in varying amounts of time. Just as important, is being in the company of those who share our interests, and who appreciate what we have to offer.
Those of us who might describe ourselves as introvert, still enjoy gatherings (in small numbers). Where extroverts tend to live at the “company” end of the continuum, introverts lean more towards solitude. It’s why we like quiet spaces (which, if you share your living space, during lockdown may not be proving easy). So it’s not crowds of people that get our mojo flowing necessarily, but knowing there are those who ‘get’ us.
When you feel heard and understood, you realise how much you matter, especially when you’re doing something you love; we can thrive when we feel like we’re part of something. This is where learning to connect in ways that feel right for you are important.
Here’s something you could try:
This week, maybe set the intention to Connect Your Way. You could watch a movie or set up a virtual book club over the ‘phone or Zoom with someone who matters, talking about what you enjoyed. You could go on a virtual walk together (e.g. call one another whilst you’re out on your daily walk), or think about joining an online meditation group. Bill O’Hanlon (who developed Solution Oriented Therapy) suggests you could write a letter to someone who has really made a contribution to your life, and then (if you want to) ask them to call you when they open it so you can go through what it means to you both together. You could find people who enjoy music or poetry, and collaborate with them on writing a song or poem together. You could try a game of chess via FaceTime, or join a virtual pub quiz. Maybe get creative, find ways to connect with others in a safe space, and see what works for you.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2020