Let’s get together

As an introvert, I am relaxed and happy in my own company. I can spend hours reading or contemplating or exercising (hours doing exercise? Not sure about that one Massarella..!) or watching things on the box.

But what I also have a habit of doing is retreating when I feel low, or worried. Rather than reaching out to others I will go over things in my head again and again and most often end up feeling worse than when I started. I notice in these times I’ll turn to social media as a way to numb out, or perhaps as an attempt to find connection and support.

I know I’m not alone in this; we live in a society that drives disconnection. Technology provides a pseudo kind of connection, where we see our friends’ faces more than ever before, but we aren’t truly connecting with them. There are so few moments where we can be honest, and feel acknowledged and truly seen by someone else.

Johan Hari explores more in his book Lost Connections, which I have shared on the blog before. He says:

“The Internet was born into a world where many people had already lost their sense of connection to each other. The collapse had already been taking place for decades by then. The web arrived offering them a kind of parody of what they were losing—Facebook friends in place of neighbors, video games in place of meaningful work, status updates in place of status in the world. The comedian Marc Maron once wrote that “every status update is a just a variation on a single request: ‘Would someone please acknowledge me?” 

So what do I, we, do about this?

I think the answer is to reach out. And this could be with friends or family, but maybe it’s through meetup groups, or with the person behind the till in the cafe. Maybe it’s finding a therapist. When I had physio recently I got so much more from it than a healed knee. I got connection and support. Getting a massage is connection. Going to a political rally is connection. Saying hi to your neighbour is connection. Checking in with a couple of colleagues is connection. Volunteering is connection. Gosh, even ringing in to a radio station is connection. There are so many ways we can reach out to each other.

Our gremlins/self-sabotage have a habit of getting in the way when we try and reach out. For me I worry that people won’t really want to speak with me, that they’re too busy with their own worries to have time to connect. But we are all the same. We are all fundamentally hard-wired for connection, and so reaching out in any situation is what, at the heart of it, we all really need and want.

So how will you connect today? I’d love to hear.

As always, with love, Hannah

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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