Jamie Ridler is doing the Joy Diet by Martha Beck as a book club and I am joining in the reading.
This chapter on connection I think is the most important. Without connecting with people, everything else is just stuff.
Real connection is risky so sometimes people avoid it. Beck lists things like people pleasing, manipulation, withholding information, tantrums, righteous indignation, overt helplessness, shaming, persuasion, indifference, lying, etc. as ways to not risk real connection. Any of those familiar to you?
She suggests some of the joy diet techniques to increase connection:
- Just being with someone in silence, even for just a few moments.
- Tell yourself the truth about a person. What stories are you telling about the relationship? And what might work better?
- Ask yourself what you really want in the relationship.
- Risk openness. Actually say what you want. What would you say if you had no fear?
We think if we don’t say what we want, then we won’t be hurt or disappointed. But, we hurt more when we don’t say anything. I see this a lot in marriages. Someone wants to take a class or take a trip, but they are afraid to bring it up to their spouse. And often when they do, the spouse supports and helps make it happen. When the spouse doesn’t, then they at least know they have to work it out themselves.
Or it can be requesting flex hours at work. Or telling a friend they have to call when they get there, because you don’t have time to wait for them every time you two go out.
I knew someone who could get me free tickets to something I really wanted to be involved in. So I asked if he could get me tickets if I wrote an article about it for his newsletter. Something I would never have done before, but I’ve been practicing asking for what I want more often. I’ve found people don’t read your mind very well.
Let go of your masks this week and make real connections.