Humans are generally social creatures who need connection, seek interaction and want to be part of something they can add value or receive value from. While some parts of society are becoming more individualistic with smaller household sizes and two-seater cars, others are actively seeking community.
Live Your Life Well says research into the benefits of social connection include:
- Increased happiness. In one compelling study, a key difference between very happy people and less-happy people was good relationships.
- Better health. Loneliness was associated with a higher risk of high blood pressure in a recent study of older people.
- A longer life. People with strong social and community ties were two to three times less likely to die during a 9-year study.
Those are pretty good reasons for reaching out aren’t they?
Some of us want to connect deeper with our existing networks, some want to make new connections and some of us want both!
Connecting deeper with people you know
Like the tip of the newsletter this month, instigate a few things to make those important relationships stronger. Here are a few ideas – feel free to add more in the comments box below.
Host a dinner party or a picnic and have some conversation starters at the ready. Find yourself discussing topics, ideas, and opinions you may not be as familiar with and learn more about your friends. Here are some conversation starters to kick off with or there are cute ones available at Kikki-K.
Start a new tradition
Get a group of friends together and do a Come Dine With Me/My Kitchen Rules competition. Do a monthly Cheese and Wine night. Make a list of suburbs you want to check out more in depth and visit a new one every month. Start a bookclub or a GIG. The options are endless!
Exercise together. Try new recipes in the kitchen. Do your grocery shopping as a team. Do what you might normally do solo with another person.
Try new activities together
Wanted to try archery, bowling, knitting or white water rafting? Get a group and have a laugh.
Make time to connect with those you really want to
Schedule phone calls or skype dates with friends or family interstate or overseas on a regular basis. It is so easy for time to fly by, make sure you are in touch with those that you appreciate.
Making new connections
Sometimes we want to expand our social network to connect with others that have an interest or we’ve moved to a new place where we’d like to meet new friends. Here are some ideas to connect you with fresh minds.
Join a club
You could join a club associated with an interest you have. A running club, a book club, a speaking club.
Enrol in a class
Looking at learning a new skill or picking up a new hobby? Find a language or crafting class and meet like minds. You will hopefully be able to find something suitable close to you.
Get a dog
Since getting my pooch I’ve met a heap of people out and about in the parks of Sydney. My partner has even started playing golf with another puppy-papa and I’ve started meeting some great people, I might otherwise not have come across, to share biz ideas, discuss the world and share insights with.
There are some great websites that have listings of activities to do or events to attend. They are free to join and the events themselves are often they are free (some may have a nominal free to partake in the activity). Two interesting ones I’ve come across are:
A friend of mine has made some really wonderful connections on Twitter, building a relationship online then taking it offline. Same as connecting on peoples blogs – leaving comments on posts or sending emails to the writer over something they’ve written that invoked a response in you – let them know!
Here is a great article to help make those connections – 10 Tips for Connecting With Others.
Any other suggestions? What have you decided to do to connect deeper with others?
Arienne Gorlach is 10thousandgirl’s Content Manager. She loves connecting with minds that are inspired about life and searching to make their everyday something fun and fab (and that accept there are some yukky days too!). She actively seeks connections with people from all walks of life. She also blogs at www.savvysassyshe.blogspot.com