The holiday season is coming fast, and that means more gatherings and opportunities to reconnect with those we love and care about. While this can be a very joyous time, it can also be a time that weighs heavy on some people’s hearts. Some are noticing the holes or lack of connections. We all as humans like to be socially connected, so I challenge you to think beyond just being socially connected. Think about what it means to really have positive social connections that support and just fill you up by having time together.
This is something that comes up a lot if have we asked others into our circle to really join us. Have we found ways to go deeper than talking about the weather, our work and our day-to-day? Have we taken the time to sit and just really listen and soak in what someone is saying? Not to “fix” or anything, but to just support as we all navigate the craziness of life together? We all need people to believe in or support us and, most importantly, to just connect with us.
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Now, I know this may sound easier said than done when you have to think about all that is already on your schedule as the year draws to a close, but I challenge you to think about embracing an opportunity. An opportunity where you might pay your neighbor a visit, talk with the parents of a young child who might not be getting out too much, reach out to that friend you keep making rain checks with. Or just that person whom you see going through life, but missing one of the best parts: connecting with those in their community. It also might just be that you stop to ask that service provider their name, and how are they today.
You see, I was recently away with a professional group, and I watched the change in the interactions when people's names were used and when it wasn’t just a simple "thank you," but a specific one with their name attached. Our world can be negative and is so fast-paced that we forget the little things, which can have the biggest significance. Things that let people know you see them, you care and, most importantly, you are willing to connect. So as you are in this holiday season, I encourage you to make the gifts and sparkle be that which you find when you get to connect with someone in a positive way.