I love to talk, I love to laugh, and I love a warm embrace. There are few things I enjoy more than being in the presence of vibrant and authentic people. I am a person who craves human connection and friendship. These things fulfill me in ways that other things cannot. But over the years, I have navigated many different friend groups and have believed one too many times that I found my forever best friend after a couple of hangouts. I had to learn that not all relationships are deep relationships and that quality relationships take time and effort in order to flourish. Most importantly, I learned that if you want to connect with someone on another level, you have to be willing to put the effort in yourself. All you can control in a relationship is yourself, but if you put your best self forward, there is a good chance your efforts will be reciprocated.
Here are 5 things you can do to grow deeper relationships:
Invite people to experience the things you love: You feel happiest when you are in your element. It is in this place that your joy will shine and your best side will come to light. Allow others to experience your favorite hobbies with you and take them to your favorite places. This will allow others to better understand what fulfills you and satisfies you.
Support other people’s passions: There is nothing better than feeling like those around you care as much about your passions as you do. Photography might not be your hobby but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few hours out of your day to go shoot with your best friend. This is their happy place and it will mean the world to them that you are by their side seeing what they care about most in the world.
Don’t be afraid to ask real questions and to answer real questions: Those aroud me have always said that I have a way of getting people to talk to me on another level. I believe the reason others open up to me is because I show interest by asking questions, I make eye contact and I genuinely want to know a deeper side of the people I’m with. Keeping things surface level will never allow two people to bond in a way that will connect them for years to come. But you have to remember that if you want people to be real with you, you also have to be open to whatever questions come your way. You have to be willing to offer the same openness that you desire from others.
Explore and adventure together: Going outside of your comfort zone and embarking on a journey with someone else will create the kind of memories that last a life time. When you experience new stuff with other people, you will share an experience and begin to feel a connection unlike never before.
Go the extra mile: If you care about someone, you should do things for that person simply out of the goodness of your heart. If your friend is having a bad day but you know she loves coffee, why not stop by Starbucks and spend $5 bucks to cheer her up? Let’s say you friend is super stressed and has a lot on her plate, why not offer to babysit her kid for two hours so she can go get a pedicure? Do these things and expect nothing in return. Do it because it makes someone feel loved.