Whether a marriage, friendship, or working relationship, I hear time and again from people who stop feeling connected to another person. The disconnection usually does not occur abruptly, although it may feel like that to one person. It may begin with missing an event or meeting, or simply not communicating plans or changes in plans. It occurs with the unreturned phone call, text, or email. It is the “not being there” moments. It may result from being in the same physical presence and not really present or available.
Instead of discussing the need for connection, humans often tend shut down and walk away, or accuse someone of not caring at all. This often leads to even further disconnection.mOne person may then seek to fulfill the need elsewhere. It may start simply and take on greater impact as more time away with friends or co-workers at a happy hour, sports activity, hunting, book club, or religious or civic organization involvement. These other “connections” may be neither good nor bad in themselves; however, they sometimes do lead to further disconnection in a significant relationship.
Humans need connection. However, each person defines that differently. Over time the past way for connection may not be what one person desires anymore, or someone may be oblivious that the other person feels disconnected. It may feel awkward to have a conversation about needs, particularly the need for connection, yet it opens the door for safe and honest dialogue. Maybe the relationship will change and the connection of the past will not continue, or maybe the relationship will grow stronger as both people clarify their individual meaning of connection.
How do you wish to connect? What does it mean to the people significant in your life? Are you willing to talk about connection?
Individual conflict coaching and group training create clarity and confidence in communicating in these situations. Mediation supports important conversations by providing a safe space where you may speak your truth, be heard, and create ideas for resolution.