We meet someone we know as we walk down the street and say, “Hi! How are you?” “Fine. You?” And we do not listen. We have no idea how they are. We have no idea what is really going on with them. We have no idea of anything about them. And we continue on with our day without making any real contact with another human. You feel hollow and sad.
So, let’s replay that greeting. You see someone you know. You stop. You look them directly in the eye and say, with meaning and warmth, “Hi! How are you?” Your friend also stops, hears the caring in your voice and responds, “Thanks for asking. I am actually a bit stressed, but I feel better when I talk about it. Thank you so much for asking”. You chat for a few minutes more about your friend’s stress. You feel connected. You feel warm because you were able to be there for your friend. You were actually present and connected.
We often go through our days on autopilot. We make no meaningful connections. At the end of the day we are empty. We may cope with that emptiness by using something to numb out, possibly by food or shopping or alcohol or so many other ways. By the time the evening is over, we feel even worse. What we are needing are real connections. We need to be heard and seen. We need to be appreciated. We need people who genuinely care about us, and people that we genuinely care about.
So, stop. Really truly listen to people. Really truly reach out to others. Allow yourself to feel that connectedness. It will change everything.