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Relating is Just One Half of Connection

David Sherry
2 min read
holding hands

The internet gave us the solution to the pain that many people, myself included felt...

“There aren’t any other people who care about what I care about.”

But on the internet, these people are in abundance, and it’s incredible.

Intellectual stimulation is available 24/7.

All of the conversations you could want to be a part of.

All of the hires, new clients, new ideas you want, right there, accessible.

You can get time on someone else’s calendar, "just use this link."

And they can get time on yours, for 30, 60-minutes at a time to talk about whatever ideas you like.

In the digital world, convenience is at a premium.

And today we build our lives around that convenience.

But what about when things aren’t convenient?

And what about when the topic isn’t intellectually interesting to you?

Online we simply swipe, click and get the algorithm to feed us something new and relatable.

And we can easily avoid the inconvenience of paying attention to something different than what we care about.

What I worry about is that we are relating, but we aren’t connecting.

Rarely is a connection about convenience.

More often, a connection is built in times of inconvenience.

The inconvenience of going out of your way to help someone unrelated to your own needs.

Or, take, for example, the inconvenience of helping someone move.

Relating is just 1/2 of Connection

When you relate with someone, you both mutually share interests.

You are able to find common ground, and this allows you to build a relationship that feels good.

It feels good to relate because you've found someone that you share something with.

But connection is deeper than that.

I struggle with this connection piece, it's why I'm writing this post to you.

Connection takes a vulnerability.

There's discomfort in connection, that's what people don't tell you.

In connection, we let ourselves be lead by others.

Or we lead someone else.

In connection, we are emotional, not just intellectual.

And maybe most importantly, we connect through meeting our own needs.

This is counterintuitive.

Paradoxically, it's asking for help that builds connection, not just giving it.

When we reveal what we truly need, we have the chance to connect.

If we can look past our ego, busyness, feeling naive... we can ask someone for something more personal than just relating.

We can ask for help.

And we can give it in return.

This gives us something we've been wanting deeply but didn't know it.

Something beyond feeling alone.

Relating is just the first step to connection.

Helping someone when it's inconvenient is the second.

RelationshipsInterpersonal CommunicationLife