How can you tell if you have a genuine connection with the people who matter in your life? It’s difficult to explain because it’s not quantifiable. But most people will agree that having a true connection with people you value makes a huge difference in the happiness and contentment you feel in the long term.
A genuine connection with someone gives you a feeling of safety and security because you know that, in spite of challenges that arise between you, when push comes to shove, they will always have your back. You can be yourself and speak out your thoughts and opinions without being defensive about it. You can pursue your dreams, goals, and interests freely and with their support. You can enjoy each other’s presence, whether you’re doing things together or being in harmonious silence.
Such a connection isn’t common in relationships. Whether it’s with your significant other, a few close friends, or other members of the family, you will need to work at it if you want to achieve that deep bond that transcends selfish love, dependency, time and space. It’s the ultimate fulfillment you seek in your relationships.
Here are 3 ways to achieve that genuine connection with the significant people in your life:
1. Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability.
We have this misconception that showing vulnerability is a sign of weakness. So you put on a brave front and show others you’re tough and strong. In truth, the reason for your display of toughness is to shield yourself from hurt and rejection.
How do you develop vulnerability?
- Be open to people and experiences. Show your true feelings, desires, and thoughts regardless of the consequences. Sincerely compliment people or admit you’re not good at something and accept help. Tell someone how much you love them.
- Let down your defenses and guard. Only then will you start truly connecting with other people. You are telling them that you trust them. While being vulnerable builds a genuine connection between you and someone, it’s not a guarantee that you won’t get hurt. In fact, getting hurt or rejected is a real consequence. But that possibility shouldn’t stop you from being open with your emotions.
2. Always treat everyone with kindness.
Kindness deepens relationships and makes connections meaningful and true. To develop this valuable trait requires some introspection. Why be cruel if you can be kind? Here are ways to be kind in your thoughts, words, and actions:
- Stop being judgmental and let go of your biases against the person. Keep an open mind. Realize that people have different backgrounds and come from a place you haven’t been in.
- Mind your language. You can be angry without being offensive, insulting or disparaging. Stick to the situation at hand.
- Offer help before it is asked. If you are mindful and genuinely care for someone, you can sense if your help is needed or appreciated. You help for no other reason but simply because you care.
- Give sincere praise for small or big things. Don’t flatter someone to curry favor.
3. Be a trustworthy person.
Trusting somebody and gaining their trust isn’t an overnight achievement. In fact, people are more cautious and wary than trustful. That’s why trustworthiness is a quality that can build genuine connections with the people who matter most to you.
How then do you gain a person’s trust and strengthen your relationship with them?
- Be consistent. Match your words with your actions. Don’t say one thing and do the opposite. Keep private information shared with you to yourself alone. Be honest. People prefer honesty over betrayal, no matter how painful it may be.
- Be there for them. When your partner or friend is going through a crisis, be there for them emotionally as well as physically. Listen to their fears and worries and show them you care. In a genuine relationship, there is a feeling of safety and security because you have shown them that they can trust you to have their backs.
Genuine connections in relationships give meaning and purpose to our lives. They motivate us to be better persons, to grow and learn, and to contribute to improving the community or society we live in.