The importance of connecting with people

Having close, supportive, meaningful relationships with others is not only good for your wellbeing, but also your health.

Research shows people with strong and broad social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. 

Whether it’s with family members, friends, workmates, social or community groups, connecting with others is important for your happiness and sense of self-worth.

While it can sometimes feel hard to connect with people, especially if you’re shy or introverted, there are some things you can do to help.

Here are 10 tips to help you connect with others:

1. Join a local group

See what’s going on in your local community and get involved. Join a local group or sports team. It’s a good way to meet local people who have similar interests.

2. Set aside family time

Family life can be very busy, especially if you have children. Make sure you set aside time each week where you do something as a family. Having dinner together each night is also a good way to connect on a daily basis.

3. Invite some friends around 

Sometimes you have to put yourself out there and do the inviting. Invite a friend or group of friends around or arrange a get together at a café or restaurant. Or you could go for a walk or catch a movie.

4. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to meet people and make new connections. Plus, you’re doing something good for someone and/or your community.

5. Contact an old friend

Pick up the phone and contact an old friend or family member you haven’t seen for a while. Have a yarn on the phone or catch up in person.

6. Smile!

Be friendly and smile. Being approachable is a great way to connect with others and to show you’re willing to engage with them.

7. Ask questions

Asking questions is always a good way to get a conversation going. It shows you’re interested in the other person, plus it’s a good way to get to know them. Remember to offer up information about yourself, so they can get to know you.

8. Offer someone a compliment

Offering a compliment can be a great ice breaker. It makes you and the person receiving the compliment feel good.

9. Have device-free time

Put your devices away when you are out with friends or family. It’s hard to connect in a meaningful way if everyone is distracted by their phones.

10. Be yourself

The most important thing is to be yourself. Being your authentic self and not trying to be someone else will help you connect with like-minded people in a genuine way.

References

  1. Connect with people Action For Happiness, US
  2. Connect, me whakawhanaunga Mental Health Foundation, NZ