Digital life hasn't changed how we understand other human beings.
This article is letter (N) of our “Human Connect” series where we write an article for each letter of the phrase. “Human Connect” explores how relationships will change in the digital age. Find links to more articles in the series below.
“...love, friendships, relationships. All those ships.” - The Science of Sleep
“All those ships” are what make life meaningful, worth living, and exciting. The word “relationship” connotates romance, but you actually have a relationship with anyone and everyone you have ever encountered – your coworkers, the mailman, the cashier checking you out at the grocery store. You never know, relationships can grow from unlikely encounters. So today for our “Human Connect” theme, we’re looking at how to form closer bonds with new people you have just connected with.
Be Authentic And True To Yourself
"I personally start with honesty. If I can be completely myself and another finds that interesting, that's a strong beginning. Look for people who have accepted themselves; they're more likely to accept you."
In an online world where it’s so easy to mask yourself, being authentic has become ever more important. It may be tempting to present yourself as the person you think people want you to be. But that’s an exhausting charade you will be happier to let go of. When asked why you get along with someone so well, an almost cliché answer is “Well, I can just be myself around them.” Be aware of and accept all your strengths, flaws, and quirks. When you accept yourself, you are more likely to encounter people who accept you for you, too!
Just Spend More Time Together
It’s almost counter-intuitive that something so obvious needs to even be stated. But with our digital lifestyles, it’s unfortunately way too easy to cancel plans last minute with text, ignore a call, or have someone get lost in your social media feed. It can be uncomfortable to be open and vulnerable to someone you barely know, but to move into the land of love and friendships, just get over that small hill of social anxiety first.
A close connection isn’t something that randomly happens in a few hours. Good things take time and you simply need time to get to know each other better, create good memories together, and have fun. We tend to become closer to people we spend the most time around. Social media may be good for light-hearted touching base, but meeting up in real life is the backbone of friendship.
Quality Over Quantity
Not everyone you meet is going to want to hang out further. Similarly, you may not want to become closer with every single person you meet either. It’s important not to force anything. Humans are emotion-based creatures. Trust, after all, is a feeling. Not a fact or a science. Sometimes you “click” with someone right away. Other times, the connection unfolds after spending more time together. You only need a few awesome people in your life that add value to your life and vice versa.
We may have fancier gadgets, but people are still people. The guidelines for forming close bonds are pretty unchanging which adds to their beautiful simplicity. Be authentic to yourself and others, invest time for relationship building, and focus on the select few important people in your life. From there, all your “ships” will be smooth sailing.
This article is part of our “Human Connect” series where we write an article for each letter of the phrase. “Human Connect” explores how relationships will change in the digital age.
Click below to read more articles in the “Human Connect” series: