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Bonds…Real Bonds

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Today, we live in a fast-paced world.  A world where it’s easier to email rather than write a letter and text rather than make a phone call.  This is great for convenience and can be incredibly efficient, but it’s difficult to convey thoughtfulness or caring.  If used as your own ways of communicating, your friends will turn into acquaintances and your relationships will suffer.  But if you want to show someone you really care and build stronger bonds with them, here are a few ways to make it happen…

1.  The Power of The Pen

I’ve said this before and I will say it again.  If you really want to show someone you are thinking about them, take the time to write them a letter.  If you miss them, don’t just tell them you miss them.  Tell them what you miss.  Do you miss the walks you had or the talks you had?  Do you miss playing games with them or laughing together at your favorite comedy show?  Or perhaps you’re thankful for all they did for you?  If so, tell them why you’re thankful and how what they did impacted your life.

Receiving a letter in the mail may be old-fashioned, but it’s a great way to show someone you care and strengthen the bond.  Take the time to find some nice paper to write it on.  Maybe even put a picture or something special in the envelope that triggers a memory.  This can really make a difference.

2.  Call Don’t Text

I’m guilty of this too.  I don’t call as many people as I should.  It’s so convenient to simply send a text message.  It allows you to touch many people with less effort.  It’s a great way to keep in touch, but not a great way to build a stronger bond.  You can hear how someone is doing by listening to their voice.  Are they happy or sad?  Was their day really good or really bad?  It’s harder to figure out how someone is doing by just reading their words.

Even better than picking up the phone is having a video call instead.  Software applications like Zoom and Skype allow you to have a video call with someone at no charge.  Why settle for a phone call when you can see the person?  With a video call, you can hear and see the emotion behind what they’re saying.  It’s more personal.  You have the opportunity to create a stronger connection.  You don’t have to dress up for the call, unless it’s a job interview, but be sure to turn the video on and have a “face-to-face” conversation as best you digitally can.

3.  Have Meaningful Conversations

When you’re out with people, ask interesting questions.  The last team party my company held, we all sat around a big table and took turns answering some interesting questions.  Things like, “What was your most embarrassing moment?” or “Who was the most influential person in your life?” or “What is really your passion?”  These conversations can really open people up and let you see another side to them.  They may be John or Jane Doe in the office, but outside of the office, you can get to know the real person with interesting questions.

And when you answer questions, giving meaningful answers.  Last time you were asked how your weekend was, what did you say?  “It was good” or “short” or “It was okay.”  Instead of answering with these generic answers, why not put some feeling behind it?  If it was great, say it was was great and why.  If it was crappy, tell the person why it was crappy.  Put some emotions and honesty in your answers.  Take the extra five minutes and have a more meaningful, honest conversation.  You’ll be surprised that once you do this, the other person will be more honest too.

The Takeaway

Technology is great and I personally love it, but sometimes it can get in the way.  It can allow you to be lazy in your relationships and that can be harmful.  You have to go the extra mile at times, just to show you care and build stronger connections.  When you take the time to call someone, write them a letter, or have more meaningful conversations, you are putting more into the relationship.  And like anything else, the more you put in, the more you get out.  Make it a point to write at least one letter a month to someone you care about.  Instead of texting your mom, call or video call her.  Go the extra mile…it’s worth the effort!!!

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