Connecting With Others When It Feels Difficult

My search for meaningful connection

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It is hard for me to connect with others in any meaningful way when I am feeling low. All I want to do is hide away and be on my own. The things I usually love get neglected, including my writing. I lose all motivation to do anything that would normally bring me joy.

Over recent weeks these feelings have hit me pretty hard. I feel frustrated with everything and everyone. I have been withdrawing and isolating myself from the things I would normally do, including other people.

Which is a tricky one because I know how important relationships are. So important that this years Mental Health Awareness Week highlighted the importance of good quality relationships and how essential they are to maintaining good health and wellbeing.

It is timely, therefore, that this month’s theme for my connections project requires me to focus on the ways in which I am connected and to nurture this. If I can do this I’m fairly sure it will help me, even if it is only in a small way.

When working on this month’s theme I intend to keep an open mind and consider that connection may look very different to how I imagine it to be, and to see and appreciate the different ways in which it presents itself in my life.

So here are some of the things I will be trying:

1. I will be making a list of those people in my life who I feel connected to – hopefully these will be far more than I realise.

2. I am going to reach out to these people even in a small way – whether it is a text, an email, suggesting to meet up for a coffee or arranging a group get-together, I am just going to do it, whilst remembering not to take to personally if I don’t get the response I had hoped for. There could be any number of reasons for this that have absolutely nothing to do with me.

3. I will listen to and accept positive feedback – because I have a very strong habit of ignoring it!

This month I will also be reading the book ‘Wired to Connect: The Surprising Link Between Brain Science and Strong, Healthy Relationships’ by Amy Banks with Leigh Ann Hirschman.

Just writing down these actions and experiments has given me a boost and something to focus on and I want to thank the women who helped me come up with these – I have never met you but I already feel a sense of connection with each of you through having a conversation on an online community that I know and trust. I found this so helpful and have now discovered a new way of connecting!


The Connected Outsider

I have always felt like an ‘outsider’ in life for a number of reasons, and as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realise just how many other women feel this way. I recently turned forty which has forced me to do something about this, and my blog posts tell the story about my search for meaningful connections – not just with other people, but also with myself and even the world around me.