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10 Best Ways to Make and Keep Good Connections



Connections are so important to our way of being. Literally our physical and mental health depends on it. So you could say that making, having, and keeping good connections is a basic need, and yet it is not something that we are taught. So we are actually going to go through the basics so that you are equipped to make and keep a strong support network.

 

The benefits of building connections are endless, we are going to talk about a few here.

It can improve your self-esteem, this, of course, is dependent on having healthy connections. If you have healthy connections with people who are supportive, who are loving, who are actually there for you and see you for who you truly are, as well as give you the space to authentically be yourself, you will feel free to accept yourself, express yourself and feel good in your own skin. You are more likely to try new things and get out of your comfort zone.


Anxiety and depression are also lowered. Having people you can turn to when you are going through a tough time, people you can spend time with and feel good, people you can confide in, people you can enjoy new activities with, people you know have your back. Having something like that can even lower unexplained physical symptoms.


Having good connections also helps you to have better empathy for others. Because you have people who care about you and who extend that to you, it is easier for you to extend the same to others. You also have the mental, psychological, and emotional capacity as you are not carrying the world on your shoulders.



You also tend to have better sleep. Being able to confide in others and having a safety net allows you to unburden yourself, not overthink, and lower your stress levels. Allowing you to have good, rested sleep. This actually improves a host of other things because good quality sleep is good for your immune system, your brain function, your mood, your productivity, and your overall well-being.


Stress will also be lowered with a good support system, This, of course, is due to the fact that you know that you do not have to deal with things alone. In a lot of cultures, people have the  entire community assisting them if they start to show signs of depression and anxiety. The community will involve them more in community based activities so that they do not isolate and they are aware that they have people to lean on in difficult times. This is very reassuring and tends to pull them out of their depressive and anxious state.


Lower stress and better sleep improve your immune system immensely. You are healthier, you have more energy, and you do not have unexplained physical symptoms, sore muscles, tension and constant illnesses. You also have a better time regulating your emotions, which will help to improve your relationships. So you get to keep your lovely support system.


Having a good support network helps you to build and nurture and enrich other relationships you may form in other spaces like at work, at the gym, or that place where you started that new hobby. You also learn to be more trusting and vulnerable, which deepens the connections you do form.

 



It’s all well and good to know the benefits of having good connections, but where can you even make these connections? Where are the best places to build connections? Well, I will tell you.

 

Social circles – This is easier if you already have some friends. Spend more time with them, go out with them, meet new friends through them. Be open to meeting and interacting with new people. Put yourself out there and mingle.


Work – I do not fully endorse mixing business with pleasure but you can actually make some good connections at work that move beyond the workplace. You have to be careful with work situations though, make sure you are on the same page about whether it is a true friendship or just a work relation. This is nit to scare you off of making and building friendships at work, but I do have to mention this. You can make some really great friends at work though and it can be great to have a friend/s who understand your work life first hand too.


Networking – Going to networking events is not only great for your career development, it can also be a great environment to meet good friends who are in your industry, who share your interests and passions. This can also include places where you are learning new skills as a hobby. It’s a relaxed environment where you are in a very much open and comfortable.



Family can also make good friends. I had this teacher when I was in high school who always said that her mother was her best-friend and you could see the bond they shared without her even saying anything. Your family is around you all of your life and will always be your family, so having a friend who is also family can be really awesome.


If you are a spiritual person, your spiritual gathering place can be a great lace to make some friends who share your beliefs, your values, and  understand and live the same lifestyle you do. You can also share that deeper connection of being able to have those deeper conversations based on your spiritual beliefs.


Now that we have looked at the benefits of having connections and where we can make said connections, let us have a look at how exactly to start and maintain these connections for better life quality.

 

1.       Ask questions



Do not focus on yourself, be interested in the other person. Ask them questions about themselves so that you can actually get to know them. Also, people love to talk about themselves so they will be more than happy to answer you. It will ease the flow of the conversation.


2.       Listen actively



When you do ask these questions, listen actively. Do not just ask questions for the sake of it. You are actually trying to get to know this person, so listening is helpful so you can remember things that they told you. It’s also quite evident when someone isn’t really listening because it does break up the flow of the conversation. That is a connection that will go nowhere.


3.       Be genuine



Be genuinely interested. Ask things you are genuinely interested in and be yourself. Pretending to be something you are not is not only going to be an unnecessary strain, but it will ensure that the connection is not a strong one. You cannot form a real connection with someone who has no idea who you really are and with someone you cannot fully be yourself with.


4.       Be vulnerable



Be open. Put yourself out there. This will allow things to flow easily, for you to get to know each other and see how compatible you are. The connection has a chance to grow and become stronger and deeper. Those vulnerable moments create good opportunities.


5.       Build trust



Demonstrate that you are trustworthy. It can be demonstrated with simple tings like when they confide in you, you keep it to yourself. You can demonstrate it by also confiding in them. Trust is built over time so it definitely will not be an overnight thing and it is not something that can be faked or forced. Let them know that they can trust you and also show them that they can trust you.


6.       Engage meaningfully



Go beyond small talk. Have conversations that are meaningful and demonstrate who you are. Do things together and make sure those things add to the friendship. They are things you both enjoy, things that make you feel comfortable and relaxed, things that excite you, things that get you closer as friends. Things that are an experience and give you an opportunity to make memories. Preferably good memories.


7.       Remember little things



This goes back to listening actively. A true friend actually knows and remembers the little things about you. This usually comes into play when you get gifts for birthdays, you can tell a gift that is well thought out and comes from someone who actually knows you.


8.       Express gratitude



Show them that you are grateful to have them as a friend with little gestures you know they will appreciate, it is also great to tell them. People appreciate knowing how you feel about them and that you recognize them.


9.       Find people with shared interests



We spoke about meeting people in places where you are doing things you love and enjoy. The friendship already has a good starting point because you share a passion and/or interest.


10.   Have boundaries



A great friendship has healthy boundaries. Not only will this make the foundation of the friendship a good one, but you will each feel comfortable because you will know what to expect from your friend and they will know what to expect from you. You will also be comfortable because you know that lines that make you feel uncomfortable, disrespected, triggered, etc. will not be crossed. At least not intentionally, because things are clear between you.


Now go out there and get to making good, healthy connections.


Coach Nomie, Take Control x

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