In a day and age when people strive to uphold the image of popularity though means of accruing as many “friends” as possible through online social networks like Myspace and Facebook, it’s rare to see people actually connecting with one another, not through technological means, but connecting with each other at the deepest level as human beings.
Connecting with people is just one of those things you can only experience. Words cannot do it justice nor come close to articulating what it’s all about. It’s one of those things where you can just sense the bond forming in real time and solidifying without any words spoken between the two people in acknowledgement of it.
And you know when this bond is formed, that you have something really special going on.
Obviously, this isn’t just reserved for couples. This solid connection can be formed between people of all ages, races, social status, etc., simply because it’s a human thing and it’s indeed a beautiful thing when it happens.
When you connect with someone, a strong bond starts to form between the two of you and true friendship and all of its fruits start to blossom – loyalty, understanding of one another, forgiveness, empathy and all the other qualities associated with rich friendship.
So how does one person connect with another?
Most of the time, we don’t even realize we are doing it simply because it happens so naturally. That being said, let’s take a closer objective look at the whole process to see exactly what’s happening in terms of how people start connecting with one another.
When two people meet for the first time, you don’t actually meet “them” so to speak. You meet the best impression they want to make of themselves, so right off the bat, one person is forming an image based on the image the other is trying to project, an image for the most part that’s not really accurate at first.
If these two people continue to socialize and keep in touch, they’ll engage in small talk, get to know one another a little bit more, maybe hang out a few times here and there and the image they have of the other will gain a little more clarity.
Then, there comes a point where the roads start to diverge.
Road #1: The images they have of one another start to solidify and the rest of the relationship is spent maintaining the status quo of those respective images and they continue to base their future interactions off that
Road #2: They start to open up and reveal their true selves.
It’s far easier for most people to head towards Road #1. It requires little maintenance - just crack a few jokes, ask how they’re doing, how their family’s doing, do your little routine, offer them a beer and sit back and relax.
However, Road #2 is where the real magic begins.
BUT, before deciding which road to go on, you have to decide who you’re going to go down that road with.
Most people will be able to discern among the people they know, who they have a “better shot” at with in terms of going down Road #2 with. That discernment may be the result of a feeling, a natural rapport, many similarities between the two, etc. Case in point, you don’t go down Road #2 with many people, only a select few, which makes the journey that much more special and the potential of connecting and forming a real bond, that much more stronger.
For the most part, most people know all about Road #2, but very few want to be the first one to take the first steps toward that direction.
Sooner or later, one person has to take the initiative and go down that road and when that person does, when he/she opens up and starts to reveal things about themselves that they normally wouldn’t do to the person they feel they can go down Road #2 with, a whole new experience starts to unfold.
If you start to open up (which is hard to do at first), more often than not, the other person WILL reciprocate.
The more you open up and show people the real you, the more other people will do exactly the same thing.
When you take the initiative to do this, you’ve silently implied that the status quo of the relationship has changed; it’s time for the next level of the relationship – to form a real solid connection, rather than one loosely built on small talk, greetings, and images of one another based on a small handful of information.
When you start going deep and start talking about your private experiences, thoughts, feelings, questions, etc., the other person after hearing all this will realize how difficult it must’ve been for you to do this and will feel obligated to reciprocate naturally.
Previous images will be shredded; new ones will be formed, but this time, real ones.
It’s through this mutual sharing that the connection and bond really starts to form and take shape. Truth, honesty, openness serve to be the cohesive materials that make up the connecting bonds.
One very important thing to remember is that when a person opens up, they’ll most likely feel some vulnerability on their part so you have to watch yourself and make sure you don’t inadvertently make them feel bad for letting their guard down and opening up to you. Make sure you tell the other person in one way or another that you appreciate what they did by telling them openly or by implying it through reciprocation on your part. Empathize with them, see things from their point of view, put yourself in other person’s shoes, understand where they’re coming from. You have to make all that apparent or else the other person will probably never feel comfortable opening up again and you’ll have lost your opportunity to really connect with that person.
When you connect with people, you’ll begin to see universal human truths start to appear throughout the conversation because after hearing what they have to say, all those thoughts, feelings, experiences- you’ll breathe a sigh of relief because you’ll know that it wasn’t just you who had those similar thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
When both of you realize these universal human truths start to appear throughout your interaction, that will only serve to solidify the bond and the connection between the two of you.
Another important thing to realize is that you need to spend a lot of one on one time in order to really give yourself a chance to connect with that person. You can’t do it in group because everyone is usually so preoccupied with keeping up the image they have within the group that they won’t let their guard down. People tend to lower their “shields” during one on one time.
And it does take time. Everyone has to go through the “ritual”. That’s just the way it is. Nobody would be comfortable opening up to any person they just met. Most people are guarded for a pretty long time until they test the waters by letting their guard down, and when the proper response is given by the other person, it can take the relationship to a whole new level.
Have the courage to take the first steps toward Road #2 with those you’re comfortable with and you’ll soon find them reciprocating. Build off of your newfound openness and you’ll start feeling the connection soon enough.
And even though no words are spoken directly about the connection itself between the two of you, you’ll both know that it’s there and you’ll both be glad you had to courage to go down the right road to make it.