There is this nagging feeling that won’t go away. It’s more of a feeling that something is missing. A feeling of sadness. I could almost say it is a sensation of depression but, that doesn’t seem to be exactly it. It’s more of a loss. It is a loss of human connection. And my whole being is affected.
When I say human connection I mean real connecting where the inner parts of your soul are being laid out on the table. Where you have to not just hear what the other person is saying, but you are whole-heartedly listening. The type of human connection where someone can feel the intensity of the conversation from across the room. It’s the type of connecting that blocks out all the noise and commotion of everything around you. The only things that are left are the other humans you are connecting with.
A recent human connection.
A few weeks ago it was my friend’s birthday and she wanted to try out this new bar that just opened up. She was scoping out the scene when we arrived. She noticed the old bartender from another nightclub that recently closed, sitting and having a drink.
So we said our hellos and I decided to order a drink. I took a seat next to the former bartender. I wish I could remember how we got to talking, but it was like connecting with an old friend. Something felt very familiar about her. As our other friends went out on the dance floor, the former bartender and I were in deep conversation about our lives. As our friends came off the dance floor they were joking that they didn’t want to interrupt us. We looked like we were in a serious conversation.
Well, we were.
We were in the middle of having a human connection. It was a moment where the bar had faded into the background and we were the only two people in the room. We kept saying to one another that we usually don’t spill our guts like this, but we were laying our inner most thoughts out in front of one another. Being surrounded by such a great energy was so intense that our friends noticed it from across the room.
We were two strangers who connected through our thoughts and words.
This is not a romance story, there was no physical or sexual connection between us. This is a story of why the human connection is vital to our existence. Yet it is diminishing from our everyday lives.
The pain is real.
There’s a reason why you should care about human connection. Lack of human connections or being rejected when trying to connect, causes us to suffer real pain. Just as we experience pain through physical avenues such as scraping one’s knee or receiving a paper cut, lack of human connection can be just as painful, if not more.
Research suggests that depriving oneself from human connection can result in health issues such as depression, stress, and anxiety.
An article from Psychology Today determined that people who do not have human connection are, “…more likely to experience depression and stress; and, in general, in worse health. They have less social support and lower relationship satisfaction. They experience more mood and anxiety disorders, and more secondary immune disorders (those that are acquired rather than inherited genetically).” says Kory Floyd Ph.D.
Here’s how to connect:
Are you sitting there thinking that you couldn’t possible strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger? That would just be awkward. Okay, yes it can be awkward, but I’m going to get you started with a few tips:
Look, you’re never going to get the hang of human connection if you don’t put yourself out there. It isn’t necessary to go to a bar or club to meet someone to connect with. Remember this isn’t necessarily about sex. You might be surprised where this takes place.
Human connections could happen at the library. A place where you’re not suppose to be talking! Location is not important. Human connection can happen anywhere at anytime. You decide where, when you put yourself out there.
Do you think that you are the only person lacking human connection? Most everyone is! You may not even be aware that someone is trying to connect with you. Our society is so engaged with the importance of self, that we are missing cues of social engagement – of human connection! It’s time to pay attention to the people around you.
If you still feel too awkward to put yourself out there, try and recognize that someone is trying to make a human connection. Then you decide if you will receive that connection. People are looking for human connection everyday. It’s your choice to receive that connection. Making the choice to accept human connection could be what takes you from a state of loneliness and isolation to feeling that you are an important part of this world. And in case you didn’t know, you are.