Updated: Dec 2, 2020
This friendship day, learn how to deeply connect with your friends, family & colleagues. We might boast of a more than 1000 friends on Facebook but in reality, there are hardly any with whom we connect on a deep level. I have never been good at shallow conversations or superficial talks but innately I have always been good at making deep connections. I have very few deep connections and I don't need many to feel satisfied. According to a research, at any given time in our life, we are deeply connected with only 5 people. These 5 people can change with time but the number remains the same. Whatever the studies say about the number, it is important to have deep connections because connections are something that make us happier and are a significant determinant of our well being. So here are some ways by which you can form a deep & meaningful bond with anyone:
1. Be Vulnerable
Being vulnerable means sharing your deep desires, ambitions, fears, secrets with the person you want to connect deeply. When you share these things, which otherwise you would have kept secret from the World, you immediately create a sense of feeling in the person that you have trusted him with your deep desires, ambitions or fear. When you shed your inhibitions, you create a safe space for him/her to open up as well. But the downside of this method is that the person can use the information against you. So start with something positive like your ambitions, desires etc & if you have slowly started trusting the person then move towards sensitive information like fears, secrets, embarrassments etc.
Majority of us in a conversation, talk more than listen. Not just in a conversation, whenever we listen to speakers in an event, our thoughts revolve around what we have to say. In these thoughts, we miss the other speaker's talks as well. Key to deeply connect with anyone is to listen more than talk. Talking more than listening, only emphasizes that the conversation is more about You than the other person. It is a well known wisdom that people who talk more about themselves all the time are innately selfish. And who wanna connect with a selfish person? Hence, be completely present & pay attention to what the other person is saying.
People feel more connected when they can relate to you. For example, if the other person is sharing that he had embarrassed himself in front of an audience, you could share a similar embarrassing situation that you had experienced. This will help the person relate to you. Think like this, why do we connect with certain movie characters instantly? This is because, we can see ourselves in them! Hence share your own similar story as well. Please note, do no make up any fake story. Share a true story that can be related with, because fake stories are easily detectable which can ruin your relationship!
4. Be Authentic
As I mentioned earlier, do not share any fake stories, or lie about your deep ambitions, desires, fear. When you are a fake, it is difficult for anyone to trust you. And trust is the basis of any relationship. If you are thinking, that you can get away with being a fake, then mind it, fakeness comes out sooner or later. You cannot put up a fake persona all the time. Many people put up an act for the fear that, people may not like the Real Them! But this is not true. Everyone loves people who are real & genuine. It is ok to be different as long as you are genuine & authentic! And even if they don't like the Real you, it is ok. You don't need to have everybody's approval. As I said before, there are only 5 people with whom you are deeply connected. So why waste energy by being a fake to impress everyone! Hence, if you want to connect deeply, be the original You.
5. Ask Questions
A key to having interesting conversations is to be interested. When you are interested in the other person's Story, it reveals that you genuinely care. And to build deep connections, it is necessary to care. So care about their story! Ask open ended questions so that the conversation & connection goes even deeper!
6. Build Trust
By being vulnerable, you have slowly started to build trust as you have created a safe space for him to also share his vulnerability. But maintaining it is also essential! Do not misuse the information in the form of ambitions, desires, fears, secrets, embarrassing stories that your friend has shared with you! Not only he/she will quickly lose trust in you, but it can cause emotional scar on the person and he might find it very difficult to trust anyone again. Forget about deep connection, he might not be interested in being in touch with you ever! So tread carefully.
7. Body Language
Our actions speak more than our words! If we are saying to our friend that we are listening to him but all the time we are checking phone or fidgeting with our fingers or looking somewhere else, it will clearly show that you are not interested in having conversations! To be deeply connected, you need to be completely present in the conversation with him/her. You need to lean towards them slightly, look in their eyes and try to mirror their expressions. If they smile, then you also smile. If they look worried while telling a story, you also mirror or copy the same expression. This concept is called Neurolinguistic Programming. This shows that you are paying attention completely & the person will feel heard, seen & understood which is the foundation for deep connection.
I am sure these points will help you form deep connections out of which hopefully some will become your inner 5 circle that I spoke about earlier! It may seem difficult to apply initially, but with practice, connecting deeply with anyone will come naturally to you! This Friendship Day, enjoy and cherish your Friends and make those bonds even deeper! Comment below which of the above points you will start practicing first!