Ask a Coach: I feel disconnected from those closest to me. How can I feel connected again?Nov 01, 2022 06:00AM ● By Terri Kozlowski
I feel disconnected from those closest to me. How can I feel connected again?
Connecting with others is vital for humans to be happy. The only authentic way to bond with others is through love. So, how can you love everyone in your daily life—even the ones you would rather not deal with who come along your path? You consciously choose to make genuine connections with these people by responding to them with love.
Being kind to others—despite their nastiness—is the best way to respond, but it’s easy to react without thinking and return their inappropriate behavior with unkindness. But spitefulness does nothing but perpetuate negativity. By responding lovingly, you can alter both paths.
How do I respond lovingly to others?
By respecting one another’s differences, you recognize everyone has unique perspectives. Everyone lives different lives. You have a distinctive point of view based on your experience, personality, environment, education, capabilities and the support you might or might not have felt.
Be open to understanding that others want to be respected as individuals, just as you do. Once you open yourself up to valuing others, you begin to feel more compassionate and accepting. With acceptance comes nonjudgment, which allows others to respond to you. When you feel accepted without judgment, you allow yourself to be authentic and connect with others more easily.
How can I give someone the benefit of the doubt?
It’s easy to jump to a conclusion based on a lack of information. The egoic mind likes to find fault and judge others to inflate itself. Therefore, everyone needs to be open to alternative reasons for the behaviors of others.
If a driver is tailgating you, you move out of his way, and he flies by. Calling him a name or giving him an obscene finger gesture doesn’t do any good. Perhaps he is a crazy driver, but give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he just got off the phone and was heading to the emergency room because his father had just had a heart attack. You don’t know the circumstances in their life. Give them the grace you desire from others.
Rethink your opinion of someone by looking at them in a new light. Releasing judgments about another can open the way to allowing authentic connection to occur. By looking for alternative reasons behind behaviors you find upsetting, you can release the negative feelings you are harboring.
Is there a way to disagree without tension?
You don’t have to agree with a person to respond with love and authentically connect with them. Be open to learning from the exchange of information you share with each other. You might be able to see an issue in a different light, helping you grow in new ways.
As you consciously choose to disagree with someone, don’t take anything personally. Listen to what they are trying to communicate. Stay calm and understand that everyone has a different perspective based on their life experiences.
If the discussion gets too heated, take a deep breath and take a step back. Focus on the facts and don’t belittle one another. No difference of opinion should cause an authentic connection to break. Look for the common ground you both have on the subject. As humans, we have more in common with each other than you can imagine.
What am I responsible for in my relationships?
Everyone needs to take responsibility for their part in relationships. When it comes to misunderstandings, apologize to one another. Let go of control and forgive the other for anything they apologize for. Recognize when you have responded out of fear and consciously make amends for unloving actions.
Reacting comes from a place of fear when we don’t evaluate the situation. Responding occurs when we take a moment to assess what is happening and answer accordingly. When you accept responsibility, you empower yourself to change the situation.
Everyone is responsible for their thoughts, emotions, words and actions. No one can make someone react in a way they don’t choose. Therefore, you’re responsible for saying hurtful words. You are accountable for how you feel, and you can choose to feel differently. When you consciously choose not to blame others, it moves you out of a victim mentality and you can move forward. Then, when you connect with another, you can see them through the new lens of love instead of through the ego-driven perspective of who you want them to be.
How can I see the good in others?
Slow down and notice all the goodness around you. You must be fully present to truly see. Take a deep breath and look around—really look around at the people. Observe them and what they are doing. See who they are through the lens of love.
In your day-to-day life, everyone you come in contact with has something good you can see in them. There’s the same light, the same Divine Spirit in them that is in you. Therefore, look at everyone through this lens. See the kindness in his eyes as he holds the door open for you. Look for the gentleness in her as she carefully cares for the child. Good abounds all around us if you are open and aware.
See the abilities of others and learn to appreciate them and the talents they have. Look for the many virtues in people: the determination of a co-worker to learn a new skill, the patience of the busy receptionist listening to the story of an elder, the energy of the valet during the peak dinner rush. When you take a moment, you see goodness everywhere.
Is being compassionate a weakness?
You are to love those around you for who they are, just as they are. A compassionate response of the heart is its ability to engage with the pain and suffering of another in a gentle, accepting way while showing strength. The motivation behind compassion is to reduce the suffering of another.
Compassion for another is the ability to see a part of you in another person. The same Spirit that is in you is in them, and no one wants to see another suffer. People are more alike than they are different, and when you pause for a moment and see the other person, you can see the similarities. Everyone fears not being valued and acknowledged, so love and accept all those who cross your path.
Show compassion by growing beyond the perpetual misunderstandings that occur all around you. Be fully present and aware of what is happening around you so you can respond lovingly to each other by showing your compassion for your fellow human beings.
Responding with love in all interactions with others is the way to connect with everyone you meet. Through the vehicle of compassion, all interactions with others can be loving.
- When you are angry with another, compassion can take it away.
- When you feel judgment towards someone, compassion is the cure.
- As you start to build walls around you, compassion tears them down.
- When you have trouble seeing the humanity of a fellow human being and see them as separate, compassion brings togetherness.
- All negativity caused by fear is driven out by compassion.
As you decide to create loving connections through compassion with others, and as you become conscious of your mindset, you can authentically reconnect with those in your life. ❧
Native American Terri Kozlowski is a certified life coach and author of Raven Transcending Fear. She hosts the podcast “Soul Solutions,” which is available on many platforms. Contact her at TerriKozlowski.com.