Here are three easy ways to connect with others

By: Miranda Mowrey, Columnist

Think about a time in the past when a random stranger made your day. Whether they paid for your coffee or complimented your new jeans, you probably still remember this short-lived moment of interaction. Why? Because it meant a lot to you to connect with another person, no matter how briefly.

Here are three things that you can do everyday to connect with someone and maybe even make their day.

Listen.

Too many people hear what others say, but don’t actually listen. I have found that most people that seem grumpy or nasty are just tired of not being listened to. It is an effortless, yet powerful thing to simply listen to someone. Just as it is important to allow someone to voice their thoughts aloud, it is equally important to show them that you truly care about what they have to say.

Appreciate. 

Being told that you are doing a good job is one of the best feelings in the world. It seems that so many people believe they royally screw up almost everything they do in life – that being their relationship, job or career, you name it. By letting someone know that you appreciate them and/or their work, you could help dismantle this belief of failure and instead build them up to believe in themselves and their abilities.

Notice. 

Works best on strangers. When passing by someone who looks familiar on the way to throw out the trash, try to give a smile or quick “hello.” Most likely, this won’t drastically change their day around, but making connections with another human will make you both feel warm and fuzzy inside. You can notice someone in a variety of ways – by holding the door, picking up something they dropped, allowing the person behind you to jump ahead of you in line. Get creative!

All in all, human beings are just bits of stardust and anxiety, scurrying around a ball of rock called Earth, that revolves around a ball of fire, called the sun, not knowing what the heck is actually going on. All we have is our connections with others to ground us in this crazy life. There is a famous quote by American poet Maya Angelou that goes, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

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