We don’t know if you’ve heard, but at Circles we’re all about connection. We’re big believers that being with people experiencing a similar emotional challenge can help you find connections, and in turn, will start the healing process.
Simply put, being with a group of people going through the same thing is so important to feel better about your situation. That being said, by being with people you’re unfamiliar with, it can initially seem difficult to form bonds or to know if what you’re saying is resonating with anyone in the group.
Don’t worry, it’s a pretty common thought that crosses peoples’ minds. But the truth is, by virtue of going through something similar as everyone else, whether it’s divorce, grief, anxiety, or any other emotional challenge, you already have that initial connection before even walking through the door (virtually speaking).
The similar situation that everyone is facing is a stepping stone for you to continue to grow from. If you’re worried about where and how to start, it starts with being vulnerable. Why? We’ll let the one and only, Brene Brown, explain: “Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness. If it doesn’t feel vulnerable, the sharing is probably not constructive.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. The key to connecting to people in your group is being honest about where you are. We know it seems scary, but the truth is, everyone in your group is there or has been there. It feels easier to be vulnerable when everyone else is too, and that’s what makes a Circle or a group such a safe and special place: sharing is tried and true.
Opening up about your experience is a great starting point to connecting with others. It gives them an opportunity to learn more about your story and find commonalities. Conversely, you can still form connections with your group without initially opening up.
Actively listening is an excellent way to connect with your group members and for them to feel connected to you too. What’s active listening? We’re so glad you asked. Active listening keeps you positively engaged with the speaker by listening attentively while they speak and then reflecting back on what they said without judgment. It ensures the speaker feels heard and valued, the same way you would want to feel when you share with someone.
If you’re hesitant to share your own experience, active listening is an excellent way to connect with the people in the group. All we really want is to feel seen, heard, and valued, and by extending that to your group members, they will feel more connected to you.
We know we mentioned a couple, but there are so many ways to connect to people in a group. The best way to discover them is to join a group, like a Circle, and participate. You can’t connect unless you try.