Steps to Making Connections

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Postby Movingalong » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:48 pm

An8el wrote:I observed that there often needs to be a need that is being met that is separate from the need to connect for there to create a situation where connection can happen. You seem to understand this and are doing lots of fun things with others who find the activities themselves meaningful and valuable.
That's a great observation. I completely agree. And the need to connect may be different than would be obvious from the original meeting. And often the needs are very hidden. It could take a while to find them. That's something I'm trying to work on. I think that's step 2 after just meeting people. . . finding out their needs and see if they match or complement yours.
An8el wrote:I've gone to church solely to be in the choir with an amazing director. When people tried to "convert" me, I merely would state,"I'm here to sing my praises, is that OK?"
That's pretty much what I do in church also, although I've found some things hard to take sometimes.
An8el wrote:Then there are people, such as myself, who get energy from giving it out to other people who feel that reciprocal is an important back and forth essence of relationship - and being around people gives energy to me.
So here, I think people can give or take energy, depending on the kind of person. If a person is a downer or critical or mean-spirited, they drain my energy pretty fast. But if the person is uplifting, supporting, positive and compassionate, I get a big boost of energy. I try to look for those people that give energy and not take it.
An8el wrote:So, the main difference in these two sorts of categories is people who are interested in doing thing do not want to "just hang out." Whereas, people who have fun being around other people make time to "hang out" and not keep track of every moment that they could be "doing something." If you want to make friends with these more dynamic people who like to "do" things, you have to spend your time doing these things with them and let the closeness evolve at their speed. I have found that I can never push someone like that into more intimacy until I allow them to determine how close we may get at what point.
That's another great observation. People have to go at their own speed, so sometimes when I'm ready for friendship or more closeness, it may not meet their timetable. In some instances, that means it's time to move on and in other instances, it just means to give them more space and time.
An8el wrote:So - I watch what activities "mean something" to the person I want to befriend and get closer to.
That's fascinating! I've never noticed this. It's something that I'll watch for now. Thanks!
An8el wrote:Connection, being a voluntary thing, seems to happen as people understand they have something to offer each other in an ongoing way that makes life constructively interesting for both of them. They usually don't find these points of connection out until they do already have a relationship.
That's so true. It's easy to find things in common but only IF the person wants to take the time to explore it together with you and that takes a commitment of time that some people just aren't willing to give at this point in their lives.
An8el wrote:Also, people seem to have a different sort of language made up of certain sorts of bonding experiences. With some, you are never their friend unless you went to high school...but others make friends with their coworkers; or the friends of the parents their kids play with. Some people will never trust you until they are in a compromising situation and must confess and realize that you're not going to hit them when they're down; and some only want to show you their fun and games side...anyway, it's good to know what are your own bonding experiences and that they are just yours and maybe not someone else's.
Another fascinating insight! I don't know enough people at this point to notice this. But I'll be on the look-out for it. Thanks for all your wonderful comments! They're very insightful and interesting and have given me lots of food for thought.
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Postby Movingalong » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:55 pm

Heartofstgiles wrote:I had a great day and felt very connected, it is something I would like to do more of. It made me realise you can work with artists without necessarily being one. The range of work was wide and the icing on the cake was talking to the public about it. I am still in touch with Helen, not sure it will become a deep relationship, but there is a connection.
Please keep us posted on how this is going. It sounds like an interesting new adventure on the horizon.
Heartofstgiles wrote:Movingalong I am so glad you started this thread.
Thanks! I am too. It has really evolved from when I first started, so this has really been a journey. Thanks for posting here and I hope to hear more of your adventures as well.
Heartofstgiles wrote:Ken
So I'm wondering. Are you male? I'm asking because I'm thinking that male to female relationships might be a bit different than female to female ones. I'm not sure, but it sure is for me. As a female, I have a much easier time with male friends, but this makes for complicated situations sometimes. I was wondering about your thoughts on that.
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Postby Movingalong » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:40 pm

Update: Last week was a really great week for connections. I felt really affirmed by some relationships, confused and upset by others, but still feeling great overall that I'm getting out and meeting new people. On Wednesday, I went to my Toastmaster's group. I led a tabletopics session that was really successful and so funny. We had a great time. On Thursday, I met with the woman that I wanted to get together with for rubber stamping in my Toastmaster's meeting. The meeting itself was really fun (although I only did a small role) but talking to her was even more fun because we realized we had so much in common through e-mail and in that conversation. On Saturday, the woman that I talked to on Thursday had me over to her house to do rubber stamping. It was so great. I had a fabulous time. On Sunday after church (in the church lobby), I talked to the woman that I've been having lunch with a couple times earlier in this thread and that was a nice conversation. But while that was going on, a guy from the group came over and gave me a big hug and was rubbing my hand in a way that I didn't appreciate. I didn't know how to get him to stop without embarrassing myself, although if I were more clear on it then, I wouldn't have minded embarrassing myself to get him to stop. So that was an upsetting encounter. I'm going to have to figure out a way to deal with this. Later that night, I went to another small group from church and was talking to someone about my being a non-believer. Then she said that she was glad I was seeking God. And I told her I wasn't seeking God, I was just coming to hang out with people. Then she said that she was glad that God was working in my life. Augh!!! I was so upset that I felt annoyed for most of the group time. Later, I thought I could have walked out. But later in that session, the group announced a woman's night out that I'm interested in attending, so if I walked out, I would have missed it. Today, Wednesday, I went to a Toastmaster's and led the tabletopics session again. I got some nice compliments and I had some easy and nice conversations with some people. There were some very annoying and frustrating people to deal with but even more fantastic people this week. I'm glad that the frustrating people didn't do their annoyance when I was having a bad week because that would have been hard to take. But overall, it was a pretty good week for making connections.
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Postby An8el » Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:25 pm

a guy from the group came over and gave me a big hug and was rubbing my hand in a way that I didn't appreciate. I didn't know how to get him to stop without embarrassing myself, although if I were more clear on it then, I wouldn't have minded embarrassing myself to get him to stop. So that was an upsetting encounter. I'm going to have to figure out a way to deal with this.
:oops: I believe the term is \"pawing.\" The easiest way is to mention your boundary and to indicate directly to the person what is acceptable to you if they would like to express the emotion that you have assigned to their motive. I found it is most constructive to assume that the person is intending to do what you find acceptable, but just not doing it in an acceptable way because they do not know your particular boundaries and what actions mean for you. You may need to be in a position to determine your boundaries anyway, even if you restrict your friendships to women. You are bound to find someone who wants to be closer or intimate in a different way with you than you want to be to them - eventually! You can't classify everyone as \"draining\" or \"exciting\" once you get to know them when you are not even able to define your own boundaries for them to respect. For instance, the way I would have dealt with it, as it was happening, I would have withdrawn my hand and jokingly mention, \"I hope that was a friendly gesture of support!\" Then I would have grabbed his hand and put it on your own elbow and said, \" If you show me your support by reassuring me like a brother would by touching me here; I'm not really a huggey-touchey sort of person.\" Or if you don't want to be touched entirely, just state that apologetically. The reason I can say this is, I was raised in a family that touched each other quite a bit more than the socially accepted norm. I discovered that many people were taken aback at me touching them too much or inappropriately. For some reason they seemed to mistake my intentions quite often. I was also near-sighted, so I tended to stand too close to people when talking to them, making them back away from me or leave my company ASAP. Doing something like that will really make you feel as if people don't like you! But once I figured that out, it made me feel alot less headshy about whether people might like me or not. It's fun reading your thread because I'm living in a new place where I need to take more steps toward making friends.
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Postby Heartofstgiles » Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:07 am

Yes I am male. My best friendships have always been with women. The absolute best one fell to pieces two years ago when she thought that I wanted a more intimate relationship. Which I did and I still miss her. It still hurts. I am someone who is better at friendships than intimate relationships. I am incredibly shy and fear rejection, which I know goes back to something that happened first time I asked a girl out (she said no). OK it is probably more than that, low self-esteem etc. I would like male friends, something I am trying to cultivate especially through this guided walk I have got going.
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Postby velvet » Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:17 pm

wow, I am really impressed that you are making so much effort to make connections. I'd like to suggest that you look at what you tell yourself about these efforts and what your patterns are personally in your interactions. Do you see any tendencies? are you impatient? Are you giving it a few months to build or feeling frustrated too early? Are you bailing out a lot on events for the same reasons? Are you seeing improvement and muscle being built in your effort? Are you recognizing that you are doing a lot of new things and should be personally commended by yourself? Are you making too much effort or just the right kind of effort? Are you learning from your experiences? Is there room to make mistakes and learn from each step forward? These are the things you can see best for yourself, and ask yourself. I know some people might claim they want one thing but their actions seem to contradict what they want. Like when someone says they want a relationship but then the only thing they ever talk about is all the things they dont want - which effectively repels everyone away. But since you are attracting new friends already, I'm guessing you are doing well. These were just some question/ideas I had as I browsed the thread. I honestly am just awed by your success - by your deciding to do so many things in your effort to make lasting connections. It sounds like you heard a lot of ideas and put your money where your mouth is and got into action. and that's really something to be highly commended. Good for you! Keep up the good work.
I see that they are happy, not because they got luckier than all the rest of us when they found each other, but because they passionately desire and believe in their happiness.- Susan Page Destination, Determination, Deliberation! - Twycross, HP&TH-BP
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Re: Steps to Making Connections

Postby Nalina » Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:54 pm

Movingalong, I am just curious where you are now with your efforts for creating meaningful connections. The posts end in the summer and nothing was posted after that. I admired your efforts and consistency - do you feel you achieved what you wanted or if not are on the right track? I know that this process can be long and difficult, but at the end - very rewarding.
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Re: Steps to Making Connections

Postby Movingalong » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:18 pm

I wanted to update this thread really quickly. I hope there isn't a problem with posting to a thread this old. I'm thinking of starting another thread like this one, but not just yet, so I'm just writing an addendum to this one. If I start another thread, I'll just link back to this one. Nalina, I'm sorry I didn't get back to you at the time about how things were going. I stopped posting because I needed to concentrate my efforts on getting a job. So I joined a job search group where I quickly became the VP of the group. Ironically, I found a friend there when I wasn't really even looking. Then I got a temp. job which I did for a while, and that got me sidetracked from this effort. It's really hard to see progress when I was in the middle of things. And even now, on my bad days, I think that the whole effort was for naught. And on my good days, I'm grateful for the connections I now have but long for more. As I read back through the thread, I realize that I still have most of the connections I made back then. I still keep in touch with the woman at church that I had coffee with in 2007. I still go to the two Toastmaster's groups. From one of the groups, I've found someone willing to help me via e-mail on some of my brainstorming issues. I found a friend through a job search club. I've found a nice acquaintance doing more job search stuff and just met with someone that did a lifecoaching session with me for free. And through all of this, I feel that I have more acquaintances and even people that I can vent with, but there's still somehow a connection missing. I can't just pick up the phone and find someone to go somewhere to take my mind off things or someone that I can just call up when I'm worried about something. So I'm still looking. And perhaps I'll do another project like this. I hope all the other people that wrote in the thread who may have been looking for connections found them. And thanks for reading along with me. You all have been fabulous!
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Re: Steps to Making Connections

Postby An8el » Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:16 pm

I think that it's fabulous to resurrect an "old" thread. It shows how continuity has developed over time. Relationships take time. They are not an "item" that can be "had" so much as grown. In this way, it's appropriate to indicate how long it has really taken to grow connections.

I've been very interested in your progress for my own reasons and examples. Having moved to a new place, I've been working on making more connections for myself. As you have, I've been reaching out, without the results I had hoped. But I do feel more fulfilled having done so.

Beginning to realize that the socially assigned values of these connections have changed in this era. People are busy at "doing things" and they don't tend to value relationships. Probably are many reasons that this is the case, but one I've been speculating about is because relationships are intangible. Sort of interesting to compare how much does a childcare worker get paid, vrs. someone taking care of a senior citizen, vrs. someone who walks a dog... Now compare that to what someone is paid for landscaping services, which is having relationships to plants.

Strangely enough, an odd place to have found and met people that I still keep in touch with has been while looking for another place to live. Interviewing possible people to share a house with has led to ongoing relationships, in spite of the fact that it didn't work out for us to live together. As happened to me the other day, I often talk to people in stores - yesterday I met a nice guy who asked me if I lived alone... Hoping it was a sign he will call me again to talk further. But with the situation here in Hawaii where people are working two or three jobs, I have faced the fact that it's quite unlikely that they have the time to do anything else like "waste" time talking with a new person. My logic is that if I keep doing such a thing, it's likely that one of them will sprout into something bigger.

By making myself a member of a book club, I did meet a woman who I have called up a couple of times to visit with when I'd go walking around my neighborhood. She lives just the right distance away to have a nice walk there and back to get some exercise. I find that I don't go out unless I do have someone to visit, so it helps my activity level too.
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