Happy Easter! How has your week been? Mine has been a constant reunion. That is why today I come here to propose you a challenge: The challenge of maintaining connections with people you appreciate and love. I hope this article invites you to take action and maybe revive a relationship from your past or recover a connection that froze at some point.
This week I have returned to the UK after a long time, to bring SatisfACTION to my ‘second home’ (a beautiful experience) and thanks to that, I have had the chance to visit close friends who I adore and who I had not seen in a while! Connecting with someone who has been important to you and to feel that time has not passed for your relationship is a wonderful sensation! Since I returned from Australia, I have been in a constant reconnecting mode on: I have reconnected with Spain, with Europe and with some many people from my past. And I think when you reconnect with people from your past, you reconnect with parts of yourself that you had forgotten. Some of this parts are amazing, and you just get them back and incorporate them into your present self, but you also reconnect with other parts of your past self that don’t serve you anymore, and you have the chance to say goodbye to them! While reconnecting with others we get the change to realise how much we have grown, as we realise we are not anymore who we used to be. Reunions in many cases are therapeutic, and through them, we can get to know ourselves and connect with ourselves and others.
The Dunbar’s Theory and Social Media
One of my number one values is love and connection and I put it above almost all! That is why watering the plants, or in other words, nurturing my relationships is essential for me. If I care about someone I make sure that the bond that links us does not break due to our lifestyles differences, or the number of km that separates us, or the time that passes from the last time we saw each other. However, nowadays it is a challenge to maintain as many relationships as people we meet, and sometimes we forget to look after relationships that matter to us: We spend our days answering emails, replying to WhatsApps and giving likes, but nothing seems to be enough. According to Dunbar’s theory, humans have the capacity to maintain contact with an approx maximum of 150 familiar faces. Despite this theory, how many people have more than 1000 ‘friends’ on social media nowadays? When we are surrounded by so many people and familiar faces, and the possibility of connecting is one click away from us, it is important to learn how to prioritize.
If you had to choose 150 people to keep in touch with, who would they be? Let’s make it a little more specific. If you had to choose only 5 people to maintain a close relationship with despite distance, who would they be? (This does not include close people that you see face to face daily).
Emotional Connections via Text
As a friend of mine said the other day: There is something that gets lost in the written communication, emotional connection does not really get through it. In the text messages, there is no tone… The tone becomes an interpretation, a guess… With a text, there is no possibility to touch, to hug, to kiss, to caress. Nowadays the technology that allows us to keep in touch is amazing, and it is only getting better and better! However, when it comes to emotional connection there is nothing better than a proper reunion, face to face, hand in hand, hug by hug.
I am the kind of person who would choose to get the phone and calling over sending an email a million times. I love expressing myself writing and I enjoy the process but I am aware that we transmit much more when we incorporate the tone of voice and the corporal language in our communication. (According to professor Albert Mehrabian studies, the verbal language only accounts for 7% of the received communication, while body language accounts for a 55% and the tone of voice accounts for a 38%. As we tend to trust more non-verbal communication, language is powerful when we use these three aspects in alignment.) Therefore, today I would love to propose something to you:
The Connection Challenge:
- Think of someone from your past with whom you share no relationship anymore; A relationship that left a thorn in the flesh, or a matter unsolved. The relationship is over but you still feel bad about something you didn’t express.
- Think of someone from your past that really matters to you with whom you have lost touch. There have been no conflicts, no issues. You have just grown apart due to circumstances or distance.
- Think of someone with whom you had a really close relationship in the past. This relationship has been reduced to a couple of texts per year (In the best of scenarios) and you would like this to change as you still care about the person and would like to recover the relationship.
Once that you have the three persons in mind, grab your phone and call them, one after the other. This is what you can say:
- With the 1st person, just express what you were not able to say in the past. Talk about it from the present and from the person that you are now. Close the chapter or the relationship as you would have liked to do in the past. It feels so good to say ‘I am sorry’ even when it is untimely! Better late than never!
- With the 2nd person, call her/him to express your gratitude for the time you shared, express how much you still value it today and how much you would like to reconnect! If you live in the same city, maybe you can propose to have a coffee-reunion!
- With the 3rd person, call them to express how important the relationship you share it is for you, call as an excuse to remember good times and propose a new adventure shared! If you live in the same place, there are more possibilities that you can reconnect and start sharing an activity or hobby. If distance separates you and you care about each other, maybe you can organise a trip to visit or invite the person to come to visit you, or you can meet up somewhere around the world. If that is not possible, there are alternatives like, for instance, look for a monthly date where you could meet to have a skype chat and put it in your calendar as if you were meeting face to face.
The idea of this challenge is to find the way to water the plants no matter what and connect consciously in a world of mass communication. This means putting quality above quantity!
In many occasions, my partner and I have maintain a long-distance relationship and we have looked for all kind of tools to make it possible, but also every day I have more friendships that are kept in the distance and we look for ways to make it work. For instance, with one of my Australian friends we have a skype chat booked every two weeks, we put these on our calendars as we were meeting face to face (It is a way that avoiding losing touch due to time difference) Another example, my best friend is from Norway, and once every two years maximum we meet somewhere in the world, once I went to Norway, we also met in the UK and next week he will be in Madrid. Exciting!
I have received so much love in the last few weeks, and I feel like my love tank is overflowing! so, I can assure you that there is nothing that is more worth my time than a good reunion. Are you ready for the challenge?
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Love and Satisfaction,