Human Connection Make The Difference
Today we are going to talk about the importance of human connection.
Why should I play attention to the people I connect with?
Why should I understand how to connect with others better?
How this can help my business?
If you are thinking ‘’ This is for hippies’’ just keep reading, soon you’ll find out just how much actually giving a sh*t can and will give your life a gigantic boost and your business will be better off for it too.
Let's start with human connection.
What is it?
Human connection refers to all the human relationships we engage with (same species, yey!).
It doesn’t have to be a close friend or partner, it could be the relations we have with people of our neighborhood, at our office, or at the bus stop.
Humans biology is literally entrenched with a sense of belonging.
We seek (mostly subconsciously) to belong to a group of people, to feel part of a community, yet there are cultures, either organic or work cultures, that do not favor the power of connectivity between humans, if anything, it’s discouraged.
You can definitely tell how uncomfortable is for people to not connect when you observe people sitting at the bus stop or an elevator. Things get weird pretty fast.
It's hard to imagine a world where people used to talk to pass the time.
Why is human connection important in life & business?
So, how can focusing on human connection building can help your life?
Aside the networking aspect that is part of human connectivity network, we want to talk you through thinking the effects of NOT having a human connection have on you.
You can only see the effects of something you lack of when you get a taste of the opposite.
How do you feel when someone tries to strike a polite conversation to you maybe at a bus stop (yes this is my favourite human spotting situation), on a train, on a queue at the post office, at the doctors?
It feels great! We are all feeling awkward when we wait, we all move around trying to look like we have a clue and we are totally cool on sitting on a chair , preferably in a corner, ‘reading’ a magazine, or our iphones.
How do you feel when a stranger holds a door before you, and smiles?
It feels great!
Any act of kindness from strangers can brighten up our day, and make us feel connected with our surroundings.
It reinforces the idea we are respected, we are noticed, we are pleasant to talk to and it feels great, especially when coming off a stranger!
Very often, these are the best connections, when you don’t feel obliged to return a conversation, or when you don’t feel like the other needs to obtain something from you or is talking to you just because they have to ( crappy work colleagues anyone?)
How to speak human
Hold your horses, now you might be feeling ‘’ yeah we should talk to each other more!
Maybe I can say ‘’good morning’’ to the guy that sweeps the neighbourhood every day!
Maybe I can make a joke at the bus stop, and let everyone in the bus before me and get some smiles and thank you!
Maybe I can have a chat with the local shop owner, I have been going there for 6 years and I don’t know his name yet!’’
We are really happy about that and we definitely do encourage you to get out there and try to feel connected with your surroundings.
But we warn you, some people are going to think you are weird.
It’s not about you, it’s about them.
You should let them go and do not bother, do not let dim your shine and find your tribe!
You’ll see if you start practicing it will become much more natural to talk with strangers and it will help you in business too!
This is going to boost your networking skills. All of the sudden , you are not doing chit chat so that you can leave few business cards around and never get a call back.
Try to have a meaningful conversation, doesn’t have to be lenghty, doesn’t have to be veeery deep, just genuine.
Just human. Remember when you were a kid?
I hope you weren’t like me, apparently I was a fan of being by myself and any kid attempting chatting with me would get a very bad look!
But let’s be real, MOST kids are AMAZING at networking. And we should take example and be more fluid since we are all going to die at some point.
Something like that.
Difference between a connected globalized world and human connections
Very often we refer to the globalized world as the most ‘’ connected’’ time we have ever been as a species, and I think they use the wrong term or they just don’t contextualize it right.
We are connected on a hardware level, through technology that enables us to communicate at any time with anyone from anywhere. It’s fucking brilliant!
But it’s not the same as real human connections. You don’t have the same nice feeling when you make someone smile, instead you get a lot of funny emojiis and ahahha, but it’s not physical
I have recently read this beautiful book called ‘’Lost Connections’’ by Johann Hari, and one of the main arguments in it is that the lack of human connections might be the main source of our depression and anxiety.
Johann has been travelling the world to interview researchers and also groups of people to understand why we treat depression as a physical illness and which could be ways to cure it that do not involve swallowing pills.
It contains amazing raw story of humans experiencing a breakthrough out of isolation thanks to having developed a sense of belonging by working with others on a project, or even protesting together. It also contains tonnes of research studies that are proving , even if at a small scale for now, that connections are more effective than current medical treatment for depression and anxiety (and if you have been through the system like I did, you will resonate with this A LOT).
The amazing thing is that Johann started the journey as almost an advocate for antidepressants. He had been on them for over a decade and felt strongly about their usefulness and how the pills have helped him keeping his depression under control.
By the end of the book, you can feel the author growing through it and developing a sense of hope. It’s truly a great book.
You might be familiar with most of the work Hari did about addiction , in fact his TED talk is one of the most seen ever, called ‘’ Everything you know about addiction is wrong ‘’ Johann Hari , where he spreaded his ideas based on a study conducted on mices that it was the first step into showing that lack of connections in beings pushes towards addiction or any other stimulant to avoid depression and anxiety.
I am glad we are talking about the power of connectivity more, it’s refreshing, but we have to implement it in our lives and be consistent in order to slowly see societal changes.
This book has strongly reminded me the importance of belonging, of feeling like you have a role in the world and you are contributing to something.
It reminded me how beautiful is to feel loved, respected and acknowledged.
Surely, this is not always easy, there are environments in which you don’t feel safe enough to strike a conversation with strangers, and that’s ok.
But this is about making the first steps towards reconnecting with your inner child, remember how to be playful and not take yourself too seriously, and making others feeling at ease around you. Thank me later.
Free hugs should be a thing at bus stops. In an ideal world we would have professional free huggers to go around the city and make people smile and talk at bus stops.