June 23, 2009
Everyone needs someone to laugh with and a shoulder to cry on, whether it’s a friend, family member, coworker, or trusty pet.
We crave the emotional exchange and the physical touch that connectedness encourages. Staying connected with others - friends, family, coworkers - helps you maintain a balance in your life. Connecting helps give you stability in a scary and unpredictable world, provide a sense of consistency, and remove some of the powerlessness that arises from everyday worries.
Your relationships with groups and individuals make you feel secure. Your connections are your support group to turn to when you encounter overwhelming situations and decisions you can’t control. By sharing your problems with others, you can feel relief knowing you’re not alone.
Personal connections are ever-changing in today’s society. Think about Facebook, blogs, text messaging, and Twitter. How many times have you accessed one of these resources or even thought about it? Many of the decisions you make in your everyday life are influenced from the perspectives of others.
Yes, believe it or not, if you’ve done one of these, it’s due to your personal connection.
Developing professional connections is very important and can enhance your potential for success. Here are eight keys to developing professional connections:
Making connections doesn’t come naturally to everyone and sometimes you may self-isolate. There are a great variety of reasons people use to rationalize why they don’t need to (or can’t) build connections. Some of the most common misconceptions holding people back are:
People primarily make connections to broaden their personal network: the bigger the net of family, friends, and coworkers, the better. Some of the positive benefits of creating connections are:
From a mental health perspective, having connections can significantly reduce feelings of depression and loneliness. Some minor medical conditions can even improve because of the individual being very active with family or friends. Connecting with others helps to keep that precious balance between anxiety and worry, confidence and powerlessness, talking and listening. It’s one of the few things that allow humans to give and receive at the same time. And, it’s free!
Jon C. Crook, Ph.D., CEAP, is Clinical Director, EAP Services at LifeSynch, an organization that provides solutions for health, personal and workplace productivity, and health resources. He received his BA from St. John’s University, MA from Miami University, and Ph.D. from Case Western University.
Kenneth Presley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) with LifeSynch’s Clinical Integrated Medical and Behavioral Health (IMBH) Program. Kenneth received a bachelor of science degree in psychology and a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Friends University in Wichita, KS.