People everywhere are starving for connection. Have you ever experienced interacting with people for an entire day and you feel lonely. I’m sure the answer is – “yes”. It is an awful, lonely and painful experience.
Someone said to me recently that they know how it feels to want to lay down, go to sleep and wish to never wake up. My heart broke as I expressed to him how sad I felt that he experienced this terrible pain. Although, I too know how that feels. He said to me:
“It was very lonely”
All of us need connection. As humans, it is hardwired in us to need human connection. In part, it is why we are so attached to our phones, texting and email. A study recently showed that we get a hit of “happy hormones” in our brain when we hear the sound of an incoming text message. It is due to the feeling of connection – someone is reaching out to connect.
For many, you feel the loneliest when you go through challenging times in your life. What you need is support and not just any kind of support; you need support from those who will make the attempt to understand.
“We feel lonely when our pain is not heard, understood and supported”
I certainly have had (still do) moments in my life when I was in great need of connection BUT, the right kind of connection. We need loving, empathetic, accepting and compassionate connection. This does not mean that you will not experience hurt in a loving connection. The humanness in all of us will cause us to hurt one another. However, connection is deepened when we resolve how we’ve been hurt.
What creates disconnection?
Well many things – but here are a few (feel free to add to the list in the comments section)
~ Receiving unsolicited advice – advice is often provided in an attempt to be helpful. However, if you are not seeking advice, you will only feel that you need to defend why you are upset – which ultimately will leave you feeling not understood and lonely.
~ Not feeling understood – If you are going through a life challenge – for example – divorce, marriage challenges, life challenges, depression or anxiety and someone responds to you with “I understand, I’ve been through the same thing”. Initially it may feel good to connect with someone who has been through something that you are going through, HOWEVER, there are always nuances of differences simply because no experience is ever the same. Ultimately, you need and deserve to have your personal experience heard. Otherwise you will feel disconnection.
~ Support – oh my, we all need support. If someone is unsupportive, this will create disconnection. You can experience feeling unsupported by others when they do not express believing in you, validating you, empathizing with you and attempting to understand you.
~ Being judged – Oh my how we fear being judged! Rightly so!! There are times when many keep what they are going through to themselves for fear of being judged.
You are starved for connection when you are not seen and accepted for who you are as a unique individual!
Not feeling seen and accepted for who you are as the unique individual you are is a painful and a lonely experience. And I don’t mean only the good in you – I mean all of you – the good, flaws, and challenges – every part of you!! Not feeling seen and accepted creates disconnection and loneliness.
~ Surround yourself with people who seek to understand you. Seek out people who ask curious questions rather than drawing quick conclusions about you.
~ Validation and empathy – I remember a new client sharing with me that when she left her first session with me she felt euphoric. I thought to myself – oh my goodness, how is this possible? As our conversation unfolded she shared that the euphoria was from experiencing validation and empathy. Validation and empathy are inevitable ways of creating connection.
~ Seek out like-minded people – it’s always nice to connect with those who share similarities whether that is in our interests, beliefs and so on. But remember – there will always be nuances of differences in your similarities. Be open to learning from those who are different than you however, be sure that your differences are accepted by others.
~ Have the relationship with you that you want others to have with you? What does THIS mean? Are you are unkind to you, critical of you, harsh, shaming to you? To create the loving connection that you want with others – start with creating a loving connection with you. (I’m going to write more about this in my next blog!)
~ In marriage – you must resolve conflicts to reconnect with one another. I know this is extremely challenging and most want to avoid conflict but resolving conflict will deepen your connection with one another. You cannot maintain connection without this very hard work.
Final thought about creating connection – Be persistent in seeking, creating and maintaining connection. You deserve connection – loving, and compassionate supportive connection. You may find that it is hard work to find and maintain connection, however, in the end – it is so worth it. Actually – you are worth it.
What is it that makes you feel connected to others? Share it in the comments section!!
Thanks for reading!
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If you want to learn more about relationships – I wrote this for you “Ten Essential Things I’ve Learned About Marriage & Relationships” I’ve included the lesson that saved my marriage. I care about the work that I put out to you, and I hope you find it helpful. Let me know!
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One more thing… I really would love for you to share your thoughts with me. I know it is not easy to do! I understand because it took me a long time to work up the courage to begin blogging! But I want to get to know you. When you feel ready, please feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comment section. And, if you would like me to blog about a specific topic – let me know!
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Details of any stories told in my blogs have been changed to protect the identity of people that I work with in therapy.
Photo Credit: PetteriO@flickr.comShare