The holidays are a time to connect with friends and family. In the movies, the holidays are filled with parties and events with loved ones. Everyone is dressed up and looks beautiful. Houses are decorated perfectly with presents wrapped under the tree. In the real world, it’s not that perfect. It’s a lot of work and there is pressure to connect with family, friends and co-workers.
BUT, what if you don’t have good friends? What if you weren’t invited to any parties? What if you aren’t in a relationship? What if you don’t have family or have suffered a loss? Lack of connection can be difficult at any time, but it’s especially hard from Thanksgiving through the New Year.
I would argue that connection is imperative for real happiness. What are we here for if not to have quality relationships with other people? Most of the psychological research supports the idea that being cared about and connected to others creates happiness and even longevity. We all know connection is important, but lots of people don’t have enough. Loneliness is at all time highs and is on the rise.
This week’s podcast is all about how to build quality connection with other people. As a psychologist in private practice, I see people every week who struggle with relationships. The question I always ask myself is whether the person struggling is dealing with a STATE OR A TRAIT. If you have moved to a new location and haven’t met lots of people, but you typically make friends easily, your situation is a STATE. It’s temporary. However, if you chronically have trouble making friends or you have trouble keeping friends, your issue might be a TRAIT.
If you have problems with relationships, you are not alone. Despite being one of the most important skills in life, no one really takes the time to teach people how to be better friends or how to be someone people want to spend time with. I assure you, there are ways to evaluate and improve your relationships.
Much like everything else in life, relationships take work. To have real intimacy and connection, you have to put in effort, overcome fears, and know what you want. Here are a few things you will learn in this podcast.
~ CLARITY ON WHAT YOU WANT
~ WAYS TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE LIKE YOU
~ HOW TO BE A MORE DESIRABLE DATE/FRIEND
~ TWO THINGS THAT KILL RELATIONSHIPS
Please listen in if you want to be more intentional about having quality relationships. It is one thing to have friends of convenience you can go out with. It is another thing entirely, to have quality relationships where you feel seen, heard and supported. The first might allay boredom or loneliness. The second creates safety, creativity and joy.
This year, in addition to making a New Year’s resolution about health (which everyone does), why not make a resolution related to improving the quality and quantity of your connections. It will do as much, if not more for your happiness, than losing a few pounds!
You can listen to me talk through this in the podcast by clicking ‘play’ below or in the following places:
Shannon Connery, Ph.D.