How to make a connection with another human being

I think that in order to better understand HOW to make a connection, we first need to know how NOT to make a connection.  So, here it goes:

How to not make a connection:

1)  Avoid talking about yourself in any sort of meaningful way.  Wait, do you know what’s not meaningful?  I can help you with that.  Talk about the weather, musical taste, friends, what kind of booze you like to drink…basically, talk about anything you like, but leave out the “Why” part of it.  Once you start talking about why…it gives a little more insight into who you are as a person.

2)  Don’t ask the other person any kind of meaningful question.  This is pretty similar to the first one.  But, definitely do NOT ask questions about the person you are talking to.  If he/she answers a meaningful question, you will probably feel obligated to release some meaningful information about yourself…and then you will have connected to another human being.  (Which is what we’re trying not do here in this part of my blog entry.) 

3)  Make sure that the activities you engage in don’t really matter.  Like drinking or watching a movie.  It doesn’t really matter who you do these things with…you can enjoy them by yourself too…it just so happens that someone else is participating in these activities.

Ok, this is all I can think of for now…maybe I will make another post later if I come up with more stuff.  So, onto the important thing:

How to make a connection:

1)  Talk about yourself in a meaningful way.  It’s OK!  We all came from somewhere.  And, chances are that we have more in common with each other than we thought.  I’m not saying tell your entire tragic life story filled with violence and regret and loser-dom in one sitting.  Well, do that if you DON’T WANT to make a connection…because the other person probably won’t want to talk to you again.  I know I wouldn’t. 

But, it can be perfectly safe to mention that your parents are crazy or that you see a therapist 3 times a week.  (Make sure you feel out the other person first though.)

2)  Don’t be shy!  Ask questions.  If you are genuinely interested in why the other person does something a certain way or why they think “THAT,” go ahead and ask.  One of three things will happen:  He/she will either  1) lie so you like them/don’t like them, 2) say they don’t feel comfortable divulging the information, or, 3) they will tell you the truth.

3)  Your best bet is to maintain honesty while engaged with someone else.  Whether it be a conversation, the way you look, what you like to do, etc. 

4)  Make sure that when you are interacting with someone, that you are OK.  Meaning that you are relating to THAT person…(not your ex, not your daddy, not your child, etc…)  And, if you are not relating to THAT person as themself, just check yourself!  It’s not the end of the world…and infact, you are making an even more important connection if you are aware of that, and that is the connection with yourself.

Dharma!

Dharma…or simply put (meaning in english) our individual calling, duties or principles.  We each have our own truths.  What is right for me is not necessarily right for another.  (But wouldn’t life be amazingly easy if we all had the same truths to live by?!) 

Should I take this new job?  Is my current lover right for me?  Is how I acted/interacted/reacted right for who I am? 

Maybe that last part is key: Who am I?

As if answering these questions aren’t hard enough, the physical equipments we have to work with are NOT designed to go metaphorically deep sea diving into the layers of our core personality.  Think about it…

…We have eyes that see brilliant colors and shapes, as well as the pain and suffering occurring everyday.  Ears hear the murmurs of conversation, nature, music both nasty and sweet.  The tongue tastes all the nutrition we put into our bodies.  And skin feels the soft, gentle touch of a lover or wind; the physical pain of abuse or an accident.  Our noses smells scents from armpits to dinners…from hot, smoky fires to the rain that washes them out.

Don’t get me wrong, these are WONDERFUL things…our five sense.  However, I cannot decide which job to take by sniffing daffodils and I cannot decide to stay with or to leave my lover by licking lollipops. 

And…just to further complicate things:  What about what I WANT?!  Can I want the same things I need??  (oh, I think life would be grand if that were so!)  Can’t I have my lover…even though basic communication skills are lacking?  Can’t I have the lucrative job even though it exploits those less fortunate?  Can’t I eat all the cookies in the world and still get all the vitamins and minerals I need to sustain a healthy body?

So.  What happens when we’ve searched long and hard and deep into the darkness of our souls and find out (to our horrid disdain and fear) that:  No Julie, you can’t sustain a healthy body on cookies alone.  Or:  No, you need an intimate partner who can communicate his needs effectively as well…otherwise you’ll just be miserable.

Here it comes:

But…But…won’t I be miserable if I have to eat all those vegetables EVERY DAY?  and won’t I be miserable WITHOUT that guy who can’t communicate?  and…won’t the money make me forget that my job is causing others to suffer?  

Finding out our truth is haaaarrrrd work.  We have to go beyond the physical layers of our bodies…work through the trickiness of our emotions…to discover something that we might not want to admit.  Then what? 

Then, we have a choice.  And this choice is so very hard.  Emotionally jarring.  We might think we’ll be scarred for life.  But the amount of courage it takes; the strength we can muster to actually live our truth is what makes us the GREAT human race.  The ability to do what’s right for us.

I’m shaking my head right now thinking:  Man, life is freakin’ hard sometimes!  But totally worth it.