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Human beings are social creatures, we naturally need to relate with others and feel connected.
This provides us with:
A sense of belonging,
The feeling of being valued and accepted
A sense of self-worth.
Connecting with others and building more meaningful relationships allows us to create a network of people to turn to if we do experience difficult times in our lives. Having a strong social network and support system of people that are there to listen and offer support can help us move forward from negative experiences.
Top Tips for building relationships
Take it slow
If you are shy or have been isolated for some time it can be scary to think about meeting new people. Take it slow and consider engaging in ways that feel safe to you. For example, you could try doing an online activity where other people attend but you’re not expected to interact with them, or you could attend a meeting 2 minutes early to practice your small talk.
Make new connections
Consider new ways that you can meet new people and build new relationships. Try joining a class, reaching out socially to a colleague or begin volunteering. When you meet new people form a connection through really listening, being present and being curious about the other person.
Create a diverse network
Not all connections and relationships need to be intimate. A wide-social network is made up of connections with all sorts of people, such as colleagues, peers, acquaintances, people that share similar interests, and the community where you live. Different relationships offer us different benefits, nurture them all.
Try opening up
If you know lots of people but do not feel close to them or you find you are not getting what you need then it is time to be vulnerable. True intimacy leads to connection. Often we are so afraid of being hurt or rejected that we guard our feelings and project what we feel people want us to be. Taking small steps to start expressing your feelings, ask for what you need and share your true thoughts and opinions.
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