Earlier this week, I was reminiscing about an evening several years ago when my neighbor called to ask if she could borrow two eggs. She was in the middle of cooking something and realized she was out. She apologized a couple of times for needing to ask, but there was a spark in my heart when she did. “This feels so 1950s,” I thought. “Like something June Cleaver might do on Leave It to Beaver.” What I was really saying is that I felt connected. It dawned on me in that moment that my neighbor was also my friend. She knows my number. And she calls! Simple as it sounds, that made me happy. I went to the fridge, delighted that I had extra eggs, grabbed two of them and headed to the front door. Cheryl was already walking up to the front porch – she had tiptoed across the street barefoot.
In my grandmother’s generation, this wouldn’t be worth talking about. But in today’s world, it seems many of us don’t speak to our neighbors, let alone know their names and numbers. We are more disconnected than ever, more disinterested in the lives of others – even those who live right next to us. This week, I want to challenge you to take one action that leaves you feeling more connected to the community you live in. Whether you take dinner to the neighbors who just had a baby, stop for a 5-minute conversation with someone on your street, or invite a friend over to watch your favorite TV show together, do something to reach out.
Connection is a happiness trigger. It doesn’t take much to connect, but it probably won’t happen if you’re not intentional. Too many of us are missing out on the face to face conversations and simple little moments that allow us to feel connected to the people around us. Does that describe you? If so, try some simple ways to connect: Make eye contact. Stop multitasking and give your undivided attention. Savor moments of simple conversation. Reach out, make a phone call, drop by for a visit. Make “connection” just as important on your to-do list as anything else. In fact, make it more important. If you do that, you’ll get a boost of positive emotion that leaves you feeling more energized for everything else on your list.
My challenge to you this week:
Reach out. Connect. Stop going it alone.
In what way(s) do you feel disconnected right now? Who do you want to reach out to this week? What will you do to reach out? Leave your comments, I’d love to hear from you!