Crossing the Bridge of Emotional Needs to Connect Today!

"text-align: left;">2012-07-20 23.56.13Crossing the bridge of isolation to connect again!

This business of blog writing is a funny one. Sometimes, I'm sitting on my professorial chair and dispense advice, high from the top of my "academic knowledge." Other times, I really would like to have a face to face conversation with you, a cup of coffee in hand...and looking at each other. What's your story? Would you tell me more about your life?

But first, a bit of context...lately, the realization that we are becoming a nation of isolated individuals is hitting me. And hitting me hard.

I notice now that in church nobody looks to other people, or makes visual contact...of course, nobody looks at me, as an individual or says hello. (Is that because I'm older, because I'm female, or...?) No, of course not...this is equal opportunity isolation because nobody is really looking at the other parishioners as companions that deserve a friendly Hello.

I notice the small or non-existent communication established with my co-owners, at the place where my condo is (my brain resist to use the word neighbors).  Clearly, we are not friends; we only share this geographical space. I do remember the surprise of finding several of us together (ouch!) making a makeshift barbeque after Wilma, the hurricane that had left us without electricity. It forced some conversation between fellow survivors, that ended when we again got connected to the network and the lure of Air Conditioned was stronger than outside companionship

In this dessert of human contact, having a salesperson at the store doing short chitchat with me that sounds a bit more human than customer service fossilized script feels like joy...

 And, without surprise, now I can see that I've been doing the same behavior to my readers, giving the silent treatment to you. Lots of days and no writing, no connection, doesn't sound like fostering good links. So, I'm back today, telling you that this craft of creating meaningful conversation in this space is back, and I apologize for the lapse...Now, you know my reasons and the constant lure of giving up because everybody is so encapsulated in his own story/ego/activities...that it feels not worthwhile to try to make bridges.

Well, we do need bridges, communication is food for a basic, demanding emotional human need, and being connected to other humans preserves us from despair and loneliness...When a reader decides to take the plunge and call for a free coaching session, the feeling that we are connected and I can help someone is the gift she gives me!

Musing about the need for connecting is as much as I know today. Knowing that I'm not quitting you might have some value, too.

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  1. You’re welcome Dr. Neil. Your conversation at Customs was great ! That’s what I’m talking about. Here is one that might be ridiculous. I was in the food store walking behind my shopping cart and accidentally banged my toes on the wheel. I hit it hard and limped a little and this nice woman said “oh, are you OK? that must have hurt, poor baby” she is likely a Mom). I thought that was just SO thoughtful, kind and considerate and it made me feel so good that a complete stranger cared !

  2. Thanks Beth for this comment….It’s such a pleasure when someone engages with interest in what we have to say! I love even the formal chitchat at Customs, when I get back into the US…once the guy asked me: where did you go, and why did you go in this travel? I answered: because I was publishing a book…The guy says: really? can you show it to me? I opened my bag, proudly produced the book, and the agent said: Congratulations, good job! I know, totally ridiculous conversation, but such a great welcome!

  3. I love it when someone I do not know will reciprocate in a conversation with me, regardless of how short. It could be with a clerk at a store or another person waiting in line somewhere or when I walk my dog. It amazes me how much more enriched I feel when that happens. It’s such a basic need to talk to others and to not be or feel isolated. Sometimes there is no interest and that’s fine, we never know what someone is going through on a particular day. Other times, I get a very meaningful conversation and even made a friend once !

  4. Thank you for your post and observations. You are spot on about human beings not making eye contact any more. I joined the gym a few months ago and there is a pilates class that I attend twice a week. I noticed that the regulars did not greet each other nor acknowledge a new recruit in the class. I resolved to greet everyone even if I was not greeted in return but in the end the regulars in our class have started chit chatting as I decided not to give up.

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