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Building Connections - Even When You're Scared

Aug 17, 2007
Do you have the experience of feeling accepted, cared about, and important when you are with others, or are you worried about being rejected, forgotten, or abandoned?

Probably, like most of us, you feel comfortable and secure in some situations, and insecure and a little scared in others. A lot probably depends upon how connected you feel to the people you are with, and your past experiences with them.

Believe it or not, how you feel also is related to how you were treated when you were a small child.

If there was always a loving grownup to return to after you met the challenges of your world, you felt like you had what psychologists call a secure base. If you had this sense of security then, you expect to be able to recreate it whenever you need it, and you do so. If you didn't, you have a harder job feeling comfortable in new situations.

We each need to feel like we have a secure base to return to in every situation. This base is created by our meaningful relationships with others. The more relationships you can rely upon, the more secure you feel. The more secure you feel, the easier it is to reach out and create new relationships.

If you are one of the lucky ones who feels an internal sense of security from childhood experiences, it's easier for you than it is for some others to build new relationships.

If you are not one of the lucky ones, and especially if your early experiences taught you that others are untrustworthy or unreliable, you may feel less secure now. Creating a relationship, with a therapist or a professional coach can definitely help you learn how to connect more easily with others.

An important reason for belonging to any organization is to create a web of relationships where you feel accepted and appreciated - to create a secure base for yourself within the organization and within a community. When you know others and are known by them, you automatically turn to them when you need someone to help you solve a problem or provide a product or service.

Another reason for belonging is to make contacts that will aid you in your career or business. When you focus on creating relationships, this support seems to happen by itself.

Networking, deliberately meeting new people, is another way to connect with others. If you are not an experienced networker, or if you feel insecure about being accepted, you may be uncertain about the best way to make this happen.

When you are at a gathering you may feel tempted to only talk to the people you already know. Or you may think that because you are there to network, you should talk to as many new people as possible. You really need to do some of each in order to keep expanding your own secure base.

Remember, the thing you need is meaningful relationships, and meaningful relationships need to be nourished with repeated contacts in order to grow. Go ahead and get connected!
About the Author
Communicate skillfully about sensitive subjects in business situations. Have the challenging conversations that lead to cooperation and success. http://www.DareToSayIt.com/blog
Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. is a Master Certified Coach and communication expert. Dr. Weiss has spent 35 years helping clients resolve conflict in business and personal relationships. Email feedback@laurieweiss.com
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