In today’s world of infinite virtual connectivity, it’s more important than ever to develop authentic in-person connections and relationships. As humans, we’re wired for connection – but shallow connections or just connecting with other online can leave us feeling even more lonely and isolated. Keep reading to learn how I’ve pushed past my own vulnerability to create deeper connections with others – and I provide some tips on how you can create more authentic connections, too!
Sharing our own stories – even when we think no one wants to read them
One of the reasons I started this blog was to push myself to connect more with others. I have felt SO connected to so many people over the years from reading their blogs – people I would have otherwise never met. I read along as the creators of one of my favorite lifestyle blogs, A Beautiful Mess, got engaged, married, and now have kids. I read Jeff and Kelly Mindell’s adoption journey on Studio DIY and watched as they decorated their new LA home. I have always loved blogs – probably because I’ve always loved stories.
It’s incredible how connected we can become to others’ stories, for seemingly no good reason. One of the doubts I had before starting this blog was, “There’s nothing interesting or significant about my story or my life. Who would even want to read it?” But I created the blog anyway. Because as a long-time passive blog reader and serial social media scroller, I felt like I wanted to do more. To create. To write about my own life AND continue to read about others’ lives. Who knows – maybe through writing about my own life, I would open myself up to connecting with new people, too.
Why authentic connections with others matter
Since starting the blog and the Well Wild World instagram account, I’ve noticed a shift in my engagement online. I try to put myself out there more, most of the time hearing nothing back, but doing it anyway. I try to actively connect with others because I think as humans, what we crave most is connection. That’s why I think reading others’ stories are so powerful – because they remind us that we are all connected, even in the smallest of ways. We can all find ways to relate to one another and to inspire one another. How we choose to participate is up to us.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed myself becoming more and more of an introvert. Comfortable with who I am and who I surround myself with. It’s a GREAT feeling (and I truly feel like I have the most awesome group of friends ever) but I think the curse of comfort is complacency. To not put myself out there, to not look for new people or experiences because I’m happy and comfortable with the one’s I’ve got. But when we’re not actively seeking or putting ourselves in new places, or with new people, we’re not growing. We close ourselves off to opportunities we never could have imagined.
Connecting in deeper and more meaningful ways
Since starting this blog, I have already seen and felt a shift in my desire to connect with new people and to seek new experiences. In the last week alone I’ve found so many inspiring women who have similar values to me and are bravely sharing their lives and creativity online. I had a direct message exchange with the author of an amazing new book I’m reading. I’ve felt empowered to randomly email companies I admire to let them know I want to volunteer.
Now, listen – I have NEVER done anything like that before. But the more you put yourself out there, the more you want to put yourself out there. Nothing may come of any of it, but it doesn’t matter, because I feel better just doing it. I’m actively telling the universe that I’m open to new possibilities, new people, and new connections.
So I encourage you now, dear reader – examine where in your life you feel like you could connect further, or push yourself to reach out or speak up when you normally wouldn’t. If you’re feeling down or lonely, reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a while. If you normally scroll mindlessly through social media (we’re all guilty), comment or send a direct message to a stranger’s account that you love (they will REALLY appreciate the kind words, I promise you)! If you’ve always wanted to go to a conference or an event but have been too nervous, GO TO IT! Finding authentic connection and engaging more actively with the world – both online and off – makes us feel alive, invigorated, and inspired. Now get out there and GO!