At our core, we all crave connection, even before love develops. We date and have friendships because we want connection. It’s a basic need all humans have.
What happens in our desire for connection is that we see connection through our own lens. Therefore, we might not see that a person is trying to connect with us if they are not doing it in a way that registers with us. This leaves us to miss out on connections and also to connect in ways that might not be beneficial for us.
Someone might strike up a conversation with us and we give off a short response and not really see it as an opportunity to connect. With our partners, we might also miss out on opportunities when they say things and we are caught up in thought, emotion, or what we are doing at the moment.
We just don’t get the memo, I’m trying to connect with you. It doesn’t register.
We are living in a time of constant distractions. Constant information and constant feedback, but we are missing out on what we truly need to make us feel loved and accepted in the world, connection! I’m speaking of eye-to-eye contact, real conversations, real-time. Not just texting back and forth or leaving comments on social media.
It takes practice to stop and pause when someone starts speaking and look at them and actively listen. I’ve had to do this myself. When someone is speaking to me, it’s important. I want them to feel important and heard.
When we understand that connection is the real core reason, we can shift our perspective and begin to catch ourselves when we are barely listening. Partially heard them and nodded and moved on.
We can practice active listening
Stop and consider what it is like to reach out and need connection only to have it ignored or diverted to barely being present. It’s heartbreaking.
When relating with our partners we can make an active choice to stop, pause and listen. Make eye contact, let them know that in that moment they speak, they have your full attention. If you can’t give your full attention, let them know you can listen to them later or that you are listening, but have to keep doing what you are doing.
I have to do this with my daughter. If I’m in the middle of a sentence typing and will lose my train of thought, I let her know that I have to finish what I’m doing. This also lets her know that she is important because I’m going to finish what I’m doing so I can give her my undivided attention.
Connection is what we are seeking when we share or communicate – even if they are angry. It’s still a need to connect. I care about you enough to let you know how upset I am and I want to clear this up.
You can let them know that you are more than willing to hear them and understand their point of view when they aren’t so angry. “I’m finding it hard to really hear you now because you are appearing angry.” “I’m happy to hear you when we can have a calmer conversation.”
Deep down, they are really struggling to connect. Anger feels very isolating at times. It can feel like we are not connected.
When people are angry, it’s our instinct to want to disconnect. To want to move away from and leave. Sometimes that is what needs to happen. We can in our hearts realize that connection is at the core of what they are desiring.
Our partners feel safe when they know that we will be there for them when the time is right to really hear them. This isn’t always the case, in some cases, there may be situations where we shouldn’t.
Love is built on Connection
Love is built by connecting. How we show or receive it can be different than the person we are dating or in partnership with. Paying attention to how someone connects is important. Otherwise, we are just left with only seeing the connection through our own story and missing out on what someone is offering us. Then we will feel as if we are not connecting because it isn’t how it registers in our mind.
We absolutely get to decide if how that person is connecting is desirable to us. There are times when how they relate and express connection isn’t for us. When we are paying attention we see this sooner. We can walk away from what isn’t working for us. We can develop a deeper connection and love by being aware of the connection we are receiving and giving back.
For more support around healthy connection, contact me for a Free Get to Know Me Session!