So, you run a business? You know all about the long hours, sleepless nights, and stressful days trying to grow a company then. When we’re busy, we can forget to spend time on ourselves, and that includes creating meaningful connections with those around us.
Meaningful connections improve your mood and personal life while helping you thrive in your profession too. We’ve put together a few quick tips on how to improve your connections with others in case you need a little help:
1. Don’t Respond to Negative Thinking
Negative thinking is normal. We all do it. It’s how we react to our emotions that counts. For example, if someone gives you feedback and you find yourself feeling defensive, be aware of why you’re doing it. If it’s because you feel judged, then you’re going to go into an angry space, which will impact your communication. Don’t pass judgement on yourself, acknowledge the negative thought and choose how to react to it. Eventually, it will become second nature.
2. Remove Expectations
It’s easy to put our friends and family on a pedestal, especially when we admire them. But then when they fail to live up to unreasonable expectations that they know nothing about, we feel disappointed and shocked. Be realistic; perfection does not exist. Take off the rose-coloured glasses, and you’ll find it easier to connect with others.
3. Don’t Overthink It
Overthinking can be detrimental to not only decision making in business but to creating meaningful connections with people. If you find yourself replaying an interaction over and over and reading into everything that was said, stop. Instead, focus on what the other person is saying. Repeat what they say if you need to maintain a presence in the conversation. You’ll walk away thinking about the content they gave you, instead of thinking about a completely made up assumption you’ve created in your head.
4. Talk to People on the Internet
We don’t suggest fighting with a stranger in the Facebook comments, but if you’re looking to boost your confidence and connect with like-minded individuals, join a forum like Reddit where you will find topics on absolutely everything from cooking to television shows, leadership advice and life hacks. You have time to think and construct your replies and even edit them, helping you understand how to build a connection.
5. Repeat Until You Feel Comfortable
No one is born with brilliant social skills. These are learned and to learn you must make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up and keep working on developing these relationships until it becomes second nature. You can always reach out to family, a psychologist, or someone you feel comfortable speaking with to get support in building your skills.