“Connection,” Brené Brown writes, “is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

What if we felt that connection energy with each interaction? What a wonderful world that would be!

How can we nudge the world in that direction? Perhaps we could transform small talk. Instead of talking about the weather or sports teams, maybe we could use the time to give each other sustenance and strength.

As an experiment, in most conversations I have, I am going to try to include:

  1. A strength-building question (see below.)
  2. An observation about a strength I see in the other person.
  3. A thank you for time spent and relationship strengthened.

Here are some strength-building questions (from coreszon.com)

  • Can you tell me about something that made you laugh in the past few days?
  • What helps you and your family / your neighborhood / your circle of friends stick together in difficult times?
  • What gives you courage?
  • What strengths and resources have you been using to get through this situation? (These can be activities, people, pets or anything else that gives you a sense of calm, energy or stability!)
  • Can you think of any examples from your life or from movies or stories about how people have gotten through tough times?

At the end of each day (when I do my gratitude practice) I can review my progress. I’ll do that and reassess in a week.

I invite you to join in the experiment. Let me know how it goes via email or leave a comment below.

In your journal:

  • Describe a time you felt strengthened.
  • What other questions might build strength?
  • What gives you sustenance and strength in a relationship?