Social connection is so much a topic of our time that the Huffington Post has a directory set aside for it. Feeling connected is important. When we feel connected, our bodies release good hormones. When we are connected, we have help with problem-solving. Connection is good.
Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about gardening and social connection. It’s a useful metaphor because gardens – like social connection – require attention. We tend a garden. We choose our site. We plant seeds. We water them. We pull weeds. We add fertilizer. If you are an experienced metaphor wrangler, you can imagine where we are going.
- Put yourself in situations where you will be around people with whom you have something in common.
- Be yourself out loud.
- Connect repeatedly.
- Disconnect respectfully, when you discover a relationship doesn’t work.
- Have fun.
Like gardening, social connection is pretty simple. Sometimes the repetition gets boring, but diligence is rewarded with beautiful surprises. As the French philosopher Voltaire said, we must cultivate our garden.