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We are wired, as humans, for connection. As an introvert, even though I enjoy human interactions, I crave time alone to recuperate and reenergize after periods of socialising whether it be following a series of meetings at work or a dinner with friends. As our lives were turned upside down in the springtime, I have been more mindful of my need to and the importance of hugging my family, sharing laughs with friends, and simply spending time in the presence of other human beings.

Take a deep look at all your relationships

In many ways, our reality has offered us an opportunity to pause, to step back and look at what was, what will no longer be and what could be. We often move in our lives with our heads down, drastically narrowing our view of the world around us and masking how we are truly feeling. In this reflective pause, we might start to notice that what we thought was working well at work, at home, in our relationships, and with our families was simply not working at all. Maybe, just maybe, it is now the time to not only consider but make a change, shift our mindset, create new habits, set new goals, and decide how we want to move forward with our lives including relationally. Instead of looking down, this pause has in many ways pushed us to look all around us.

How have the past few months shaped the way we connect with others? Perhaps, we have missed being with others and found creative ways to connect or we have become more comfortable with spending time alone. Perhaps, we have noticed this need for balance, connecting with others and connecting with self. Perhaps, we have reflected on ways to redefine our relationships and how or who we choose to connect with whether that be with our employer, our infuriating colleague, our bubbly best friend, our loving partner and children or the complete strangers on our morning bus ride to work.

Keep your head up: Ask the hard questions

The challenging bit here is our natural tendency to go back to our old habits and ways of being even if these are not constructive. It is just more comfortable in the old, rather than adventuring ourselves in the new and unknown. As we are progressively returning to our new normal, we might notice ourselves doing exactly this, returning to the ways we use to be with others which we know or now know were not working. We keep tolerating unhealthy personal and professional relationships; however, lately, it has not been business as usual. A space has been created to ask ourselves challenging and, yes perhaps, uncomfortable questions.

Am I truly satisfied with my personal and professional relationships?

What are my relational needs and wants? Are these being communicated and met?

What conversations need to be had? What boundaries need to be established or redefined?

Who do I want in my life and who might I need to step away from?

How do I want to show up with others? How do I want to connect?

Be gentle with yourself

While exploring these questions, curiosity and self-compassion are our best friends. Giving ourselves permission to rethink, redefine, and refocus without judgment and expectations getting in the away. A coach can hold the space for us to explore these questions and plan concretely how we want to move forward in our personal and professional relationships. Also, the Coffee & Conversation Friday morning sessions at GHI provides a space to exchange ideas and yes, connect with others to talk about this or other topics that have been on our minds lately.

You decide how you connect with others

Even though I continue to crave my alone time, I have also realised the importance of carving quality time with those I love most and being more assertive in all my relationship including at work. When the time comes, I know I will hug my family a little tighter, laugh with my friends a little harder and appreciate being in the presence of others a little more. We are social beings after all, and it is up to us to define or perhaps redefine how we connect moving forward!

Coffee & Conversation – Free Online Sessions

Do you want to change your perspective on things or have your ideas or feelings validated? Please come join us every Friday for a soul-serving conversation. You may just find that the conversation will take you exactly where you need to be.

Date: Every Friday (until the the end of July)

Time: 8 to 9 AM – EST

Hosts: Maryse Matta and Gabriela Nitu

Register here.