In today’s world, we have a plethora of options for expanding our network and keeping in touch with friends and family. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook allow us to connect with just one click of a button, hearing their voices and seeing their faces, no matter how far away they are.
Ironically, the more choices we have for staying connected to everyone we know, the more disconnected we have become from the outside world. In fact, social media has been associated with increased feelings of isolation and anxiety among young adults. (Source: NPR)
We have certain connections that influence our lives at all levels. With loneliness on the rise, it is all the more critical that we strengthen and nurture these relationships in order to reap reciprocal benefits. However, there are moments when we are unable to communicate, as the thick fog of loneliness overshadows us. Staying in a relationship and putting in the hard work can feel like a burden at times. We may even experience an inexplicable discomfort that pushes us away from others and forces us to retreat into ourselves. There may be several explanations for this feeling.
Human interaction is important for everyone, but the degree and amount of interaction can differ based on one’s personality. Some people are shy and introverted, while others are outspoken and extroverted. Past trauma and relational hurt can affect one’s ability to trust others, which can lead to building fences rather than bridges. It may feel safer to isolate and yet difficult to feel lonely..
Despite all of the barriers that prevent us from connecting, we can safely assume that relationships and connections have a profound effect on us. They can alter our moods as well as boost our creativity, productivity, and vitality. Positive relationships and good connections can propel us to the pinnacle of success.
Positive networking has many advantages of which we might be unaware. It can provide us with access to many more connections, which can further fuel our physical and mental development. For example, our workplace relationships can give rise to a number of new social and professional connections. These can then be helpful in reaching career objectives.
Relationships are also important because they improve our emotional well-being and teach us how to be selfless. They teach us to be considerate and how to be a better version of ourselves. They arouse our awareness of mankind’s needs and encourage us to work for the greater good.
Relationships with others also help us get back up when we fall and give us strength when we feel weak. There can be a shoulder to cry on when we are connected to someone. We can count on them in times of need. We can vent and talk our hearts out to someone with whom we have a deep connection. This relationship helps reduce stress and anxiety while making us feel less depressed. It makes us realize that we have someone to lean on and that we will not have to endure the darkest times alone.
Relationships are not only about receiving but also about imparting; it is a two-way street. Non-toxic relationships are not parasitic, and you are not entitled to all of the rewards. When you connect, you are also contributing to society. You will share your community goals and vision with others connected to you, making a difference in their lives and motivating them to set new goals.
Connecting with others is not a tough nut to crack. Being a member of the human race, you have experienced that bond with parents, friends, teachers, or your children. In emotionally focused therapy, we define relational security as ARE-- accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement. Being accessible or available to those you care about, especially when they are in need is crucial. It also is important to respond. If someone is in crisis, time is of the essence. Delaying does not indicate the ability for someone to depend on another. Finally, engagement tells others that you care and are invested in the relationship. You are attuned to them and paying attention to what is on their heart.
Furthermore, keep an open mind when it comes to making new connections. Allow others to approach you, support you, and work with you by making room for them to do so. Only keep in mind to communicate with ease and sincerity. At the same time, avoid negative people and only connect with those who have a meaningful impact on your life. In a relationship, celebrate the differences while revealing the less striking parallels.
If you feel disconnected, depressed, sad, anxious, and lonely, you can come to us for help. At RDU Counseling for Change, we offer mental health counseling and online therapy in Raleigh, NC. Be it individual, couples, or family therapy, RDU counselors are trained in counseling people from different walks of life. If you have any questions or want to book your Raleigh therapy session, feel free to contact us at (919) 713 0260.