When we were younger, it seems we had daily opportunities to connect with our peers through school and various interest groups. And yet, all of that shifts as an adult when we're out in the work world or raising families. I don't know about you, but sometimes it has felt like I'm floating in my own sphere, occasionally bumping into others who are in their own spheres. If spending personal time with coworkers isn't your thing or maybe you've outgrown or moved away from school friendships... where do you find your people? You may have heard me share that discovering Authentic Relating was a pivotal point in my life; specifically to the way I make and maintain friendships. I can still remember what my life was like before that...
Sure, I had friends and if I wanted to have plans on a given weekend, I could. I was involved in different communities and organizations. And yet... I felt empty. I wanted more.
It was as if I was just going through the motions of having a social life without actually feeling the rewards. In fact, without soul-filling friendships, sometimes it was easier to just opt out of socializing all together.
Here are three ways the Authentic Relating (AR) practice has improved (and continues to improve) my relationships/friendships:
SKILLS - I get to learn relating and communication skills AND I have the space to apply & practice them right then and there.
EXPECTATIONS - The more I practice conscious communication, experience meaningful dialogue, and spend time with people who are open to vulnerability, the less I have a desire for "the other stuff" (e.g. small talk, surface-level friendships, etc). Because of this, I've naturally attracted more people around me that value the same. Likewise, the more I share myself authentically, follow my curiosity, listen reflectively (among other AR skills), the more I model to others around me what's possible with connection - it's contagious!
OPPORTUNITIES - AR classes and workshops quite literally introduce me to people who also value investing in themselves and growing as people. Bonus impact: They also tend to feel great to attend while I'm in them!
Whether you're totally new to AR, a seasoned vet or anything in between - I encourage you to find ways to experience more intentional and authentic connection in whatever way fits for you.