Connecting with others can be a very positive and rewarding experience. In fact, a study conducted at the University of York revealed that feeling like we have things in common with others and knowing that they care about us has a beneficial effect on our mental health. However, establishing that special bond that unites two people is not always easy.
The 3 keys to connect with people
To connect with people, the first step is to get naked, metaphorically. In other words, it is important to be aware that we normally relate based on our prejudices and stereotypes, which often become a barrier that prevents us from getting to know the other. For this reason, it is essential to undress ourselves mentally, freeing ourselves from all kinds of preconceived ideas that end up becoming obstacles to undressing the soul.
There are three words that can guide us through that experience to foster a deeper bond with the person in front of us: respect, compassion and sincerity.
1. Respect. This word comes from the Latin verb “spectare”, which means “to look”, to which the prefix “re” is added, which implies duplicating the action. Therefore, when we behave with respect, what we do is look and look at the other again, in order to see him as a person different from ourselves, a unique person who we must treat with consideration and tolerance. Respect is, therefore, the basis of all developing relationships.
2. Compassion. This word comes from the Greek “pathos” which is usually translated as “suffering”, although it also has a broader meaning that indicates “everything that is felt or experienced” or “state of the soul”, and the prefix “com” means ” beside, together with”. Therefore, when we relate from compassion we do not feel sorry for the other person, but rather we show an empathetic attitude, we share their feelings. This is how we connect on a deeper level.
3. Sincerity. The origin of the word “sincerity” is very interesting because it comes from a relatively common practice in Roman times in which sculptors used a “wax” to hide the imperfections and cracks in the marble of the sculptures. At that time, some people asked for a “sin-cerum” (without wax) work, in which the work could be seen on the stone as it is, without any arrangement or addition that made it seem perfect. Without a doubt, sincerity is an essential ingredient to connect with others because it is what allows our essence to flow. We don’t have to do anything special or try to be someone we’re not, we just have to be authentic.
Putting these three attitudes into practice contributes to developing the inner disposition necessary to establish a true connection with other people, a bond that is not based on appearances but on an authentic desire to connect and show ourselves without masks, just as we are.
Obviously, to achieve this it is necessary that at least two people are willing to open up and connect. So you have to look at the other and look at him again to become aware of his uniqueness, but also to be able to share the state of his soul. All from sincerity, without trying to hide our flaws or vulnerabilities because that is precisely what humanizes us and brings us closer.
Flett, G. L. et. Al. (2022) The Anti-Mattering Scale: Development, psychometric properties and associations with well-being and distress measures in adolescents and emerging adults. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment; 40(1): 37–59.