Episode 2: Creating Connection
Welcome back to episode two! I love that you’re here with me. Before we dive in I wanted to pause and make a request to help this podcast get established and out into the world a bit and to that I need your help! If you could head over to iTunes and leave a quick rating a review that would be so helpful and appreciated. It makes a big difference especially to new podcasts and if you like this so far and want more make sure you head on over – it’s quick and painless I promise!
Okay, let’s dive in! I’m really excited to bring you episode 2 because it’s such an important topic, especially in this demographic where we might find ourselves in kind of an odd place.
We don’t have the traditional family per se, maybe you’re not married yet or you were married and now divorced or separated. You might have kids, you might not – no matter what we all need connections and healthy connections so that we can thrive.
This podcast episode is going to teach you how to create connection in a way that you’ve probably never thought about before and one that will change forever how you think about connections. It’s so freeing and amazing and let’s dive right in!
I’m certain that at some point in your life you’ve thought about what you want in a relationship. Just the other day my son was doing an English assignment where the topic was, what makes a good friend. We’ve grown up with this idea that there’s certain qualities or things that they do or do that makes a good connection, that makes them an ideal friend or dating partner, or potential spouse.
I remember back in young women’s making a list of what I wanted in my future husband even and it’s so sneaky and sounds appealing and good to know what you want and what you’re looking for but it’s really not helpful and hinders your progression even.
Here’s the thing, we all want and not just want but NEED connections. In the longest research study ever conducted, Yale university concluded that the biggest factor that contributes to our longevity in life wasn’t our health, our diet, our exercise regimen, or even how much sleep you get at night but rather our connections.
People need connections which is why it’s easy to adopt the belief that you might be happier if you were in a committed relationship. Here’s the interesting thing with that though, if you believe you’ll be happier IF you’re in a committed relationship then you’re postponing your happiness now. It invites fear and scarcity because you’re having to wait on something outside of you for you to get what you think you want and really need.
It’s not a place of confidence or security. It’s the starting point of victim mentality – waiting for someone else outside of you to give you what you want and need.
We do need connection. It’s not a want or like, that’d be nice kind of thing, it’s a need. Think about Moroni – it’s one the saddest, loneliest accounts in the book of Mormon where he writes, “I am alone.”, “I even remain alone”, “whither I go it mattereth not.”, “I have not friends nor whither to go”
It’s just this outpouring of raw emotion and loneliness. It paints this really vivid and bleak picture and he’s not alone in these thoughts. There are many that struggle with similar thoughts and feelings.
Loneliness is real and it does contribute to your overall happiness and longevity – I’ve got an entire podcast (one of many actually) dedicated directly to that topic but for now I want to bring it back to connection.
Most often people think connection is the bond between two people. It’s a give and take kind of a thing, a partnership. I do this and this and in return you do that. But again, when we rely on things and people outside of us we put ourselves in a compromising position. We can’t create confidence and certainty on another person because we don’t know what they’ll do or won’t do. We can’t be certain that at some point they won’t decide they’re done.
I’m sure you’ve experienced this to a degree. I know I have. Even in a friendship. You might think everything is fine until one day they break it off and leave you confused and bewildered and wondering what you did or could have done.
You may have even been the one to break it off and be done. Either way you know how rocky putting yourself in that position can be so how can you get what you need with confidence without putting all your eggs in one basket?
Let’s start with what connection even is.
What is connection? How would you define that?
Think about it, what is connection?
I love diving deep with words and defining them because oftentimes we have an old belief or story about what we think it means and we have our own definition of what it is so I like getting really clear about it.
See, there’s a lot of people who believe that a connection is a two-way thing. Like, I do something for you and you do something for me and we create connection together – which might sound lovely but it’s not. It’s adding unnecessary weight and pressure and expectations and a lot of mind drama.
Google defines it as “a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked”
And I think this can be interpreted as the link requiring two people doing something – like a give and take kind of thing but even here, it just says a link.
But it doesn’t require to active participants. We create that link, that connection by the thoughts we think about the other person.
Connection is a feeling.
We feel connected to another person by the thoughts we choose to think about them. And when we feel that way, we feel a bond to them and it creates a relationship.
This is true with all our relationships. It’s the feeling we have for another person whether that’s a romantic interest or friendship or family or even work colleagues. We create connections to people and if you caught in the definition things – all the time.
Have you ever felt close or felt connected to someone that has passed away?
Like you see an heirloom or a photo of them and you have all kinds of wonderful thoughts about that person and you feel connected to them?
That person didn’t do anything for you – they’re not there with you but you felt connected to them.
Or what about someone famous that doesn’t know you exist?
I love Oprah and think she’s just a beautiful person and I feel a connection to her even though she doesn’t know me at all.
We can feel connected to Heavenly Father even though we haven’t seen Him with our human eyes.
Connection doesn’t take two. It’s not reciprocal. It’s 100% contingent on your thoughts.
Your thoughts create how you feel.
You want connection – we all do. We are a tribal people – it’s in our DNA. We are wired to connect. We seek it, we yearn for it, we mourn for the loss of it when we think we can’t have it or don’t have it -like Moroni – “I am alone”
We’ve been programmed from an early age to believe that other people affect how we feel and vice versa. We hear it in words like, “Don’t take that toy from Sally or you’ll hurt her feelings” which teaches us that, you have the power to hurt someone else emotionally and if you can do that to them, then they can do that to you too and what a scary place to be in.
That belief will never create confidence for you. It also places you in a place contrary to being an “agent to ACT and not be acted upon”
If other people can hurt you emotionally then you become subject to them – a thing to be acted upon. But that’s not who you are. You are an agent to act.
No matter what anyone else does or says you have the power and agency to choose how you want to interpret that, to choose how you want to respond, and thankfully, to choose how you want to feel.
That, right there is power and that’s the gift of your agency.
You create connection not by what the other party does or doesn’t do but by what you think about them. period.
This is so amazing because you never have to be without connection. You can and probably still WANT to be around others but it doesn’t make you a victim to your circumstances.
I love the example of Tom Hanks in the movie, Cast Away.
It’s an older movie now and brace yourself if you haven’t seen it – spoiler alerts
So while Tom Hanks is flying for Fedex and the aircraft experiences turbulence and he ends up being the sole survivor and cast away on a small island completely alone and craving for connection he makes this volleyball into a head.
You all remember this, I know you do. Who can forget Wilson?
Anyway, he becomes close to Wilson. He talks to Wilson. He argues with Wilson. He get’s mad one night and kicks or throws Wilson far away only to panic at what he’s done and searches and hunts for Wilson only to cry and apologize to Wilson. Then who can forget that heart-wrenching scene when he has to choose to save Wilson or save himself.
And I tell you what, I was bawling at that scene and in my mind I kept telling myself, “It’s just a volleyball!” But he had personified it so much that you grew to love it and have a-connection with it as well.
It’s a volleyball, an inanimate object and yet, connection was created because of thoughts.
You create connection by the thoughts you think.
When you tell yourself you don’t have friends or many friends or you don’t feel like you fit in – it’s not because it’s true but rather that you believe it is.
Here’s what’s so fascinating, your brain is amazing and is always solving problems – whether it’s a problem you give it or most often we don’t intentionally give it one so it finds or creates one – hence overthinking. But when you tell yourself that you don’t fit in, that you don’t belong, that people don’t like you, that you can’t find anyone to date, that there’s no one in your area, all the things – your brain will find evidence to prove your thought true.
Remember, “As a man thinketh, so he is”
It’s not because it’s true but rather because you think it – you’ve decided that it’s true.
And the more evidence that your brain finds the more you believe the story to be true.
What is your story about connection?
What are you telling yourself and collecting evidence for?
And here’s a very important question, is that what you want it to find evidence for?
When you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them.
So this same concept is true with our expectations of people too and listen up, my friends because I’ve coached so many of you I know that everyone but especially my mid-singles – you have a lot of expectations when it comes to relationships and dating.
And I get it – you don’t want to get hurt again. You don’t want to do that or go through that, or experience that again so we look for those red flags. We don’t want to “waste” time with people that don’t fit the bill. We’re comfortable with our jobs, careers, life, home, ect that if the other party doesn’t fit in that then, well, I guess that won’t work.
So we take these into each interaction and I tell you what some of your first conversations are more like job interviews instead of genuine getting to know you’s.
Some of you, and you know who you are, go into them with these parameters and beliefs that “there just isn’t anyone left…all the good ones are taken” and then you’re super sad that there goes another one. I guess it’s just me. I’ll be alone. There isn’t anyone to date.
This isn’t true. It becomes true when that’s what you’re thinking. Do you see this?
Stop treating your conversations like job interviews. Stop holding people to a checklist.
I was so proud of one of my 1-1’s who just recently told me that normally if a person lived out of her area then it was a no-no on her list and she met this great guy while visiting friends and family out of state and really likes him and even though she normally wouldn’t go for that, here she is and having fun and creating deeper connections.
Now, please note: I am not, nor ever will tell you to drop your standards. You get to choose whatever you want to but I am saying that you won’t be able to make the connections you want while waiting for the ball to drop.
One foot in, one foot out.
Too often we’re focused on the HOW – that’s like my client. Her focus wasn’t that she wouldn’t date someone out of state, rather it was HOW would that even work?
And when you’re focused on the HOW you don’t have a strong WHY or any why yet so you fail ahead of time and then you never get a chance to develop a HOW.
Are you with me?
It needs to be the opposite. We get to know someone just for FUN because we’re a social people. We love the humans. And when you get to know someone without the interview questions or interrogation lists it’s fun. You see them as interesting. You can be genuinely curious about them. You’ll naturally want to know more and all the while you’re having thoughts about them. You’re creating connection.
Then you might develop a WHY and I tell you what, when you have that WHY the HOW doesn’t matter. You will move or they will Heaven and hell to make it work. In my old stake our stake president had a unique living arrangement with his wife. She had a practice as a psychologist in Utah and he worked and served as stake president in California so I think, it was something like 1 week there, 1 week together or something like that.
They’d been married – happily married for decades making it work because they had developed the WHY first.
Can you imagine going into a date and hearing about their established practice in a different state and you’ve got yours settled where you’re at and instantly your mind goes to the HOW and you think, “well that won’t work” and so it doesn’t? You think that you have to compromise and you don’t want to and then get hurt or upset or offended that they don’t want compromise and they’re thinking the same thing so it just never develops because you both believe it won’t work and doesn’t.
Instead of creating the WHY first and then while not always easy – most things of value rarely are – you’re more open to possibilities of how to make it work.
Get to the WHY first and the how always falls into place.
Allow yourself to be curious without the job interview.
I know you think there’s a hurry but there’s not. When you can take the hurry out of the equation that pressure and weight lifted does amazing things for your life.
Be curious, not critical.
You are 100% lovable. Your lovability isn’t contingent upon another person or what they think of you. If you think of connections as something you create instead of something you get, something that they give you can show up confident. You can have deeper, meaningful conversations because you’re not in scarcity mode fearing that you won’t get what you need.
Connection is a feeling you create by the thoughts you choose to think.
Okay my friends, that’s where I’m going to leave you this week. Have an amazing time creating lots of connection with friends, family, potential interests – all the humans. It feels so good!
See you next time!