Connecting with People – The Shared Experience…

29 Oct

Since the end of my 9 and 1/2 year relationship I have done  and continue to do a lot of socializing and meeting new people…

It wasn’t like that at first though…

In the early days of being single I didn’t really have many friends who weren’t married or in long term relationships, I had few skills in meeting new people and forming relationships with them and I had lots of confidence issues that needed cleared up…

I’ve learned a lot in the last few years about the way people tick, the way I tick and how to overcome obstacles that hold most people back from forming deep, lasting & worthwhile relationships with people…

Out of everything one thing for me sticks out…

If you want to form a lasting relationship with someone one of the quickest things that’ll get you there is having a significant shared experience…

Significant shared experiences are what bring people together and deepen the sense of connection between them at an accelerated rate.

Significant shared experiences don’t have to be huge events, they can be small while still containing lots of meaning to those involved. It could be sharing a private joke together, playing a game, being involved in project or something larger like going on holiday together or working together to overcome a problem or challenge…

Shared experiences are what bond people together and create long lasting, worthwhile relationships…

Think about it on a more global perspective…During the second world war Britain experienced a sense of unity that it couldn’t come close to in this day and age. At that time nothing else mattered other that pulling together to get the country through what were really tough times. All major differences were forgotten and the only thing that mattered was working together towards a common goal. This hugely significant shared experience brought a nation together in a way it had rarely seen before.

While this is obviously an extreme example  and you don’t have to be faced with massive adversity to create a bond with people I think you get my point…

That is, the more significant shared experiences you have with someone the deeper the connection you will have with them…

So how do you put this to use when it comes to socialising and forming new, meaningful relationships with people…

Well, the next time you are in company with someone always be working towards having some kind of shared experience together…no matter how small it is. It can be something simple like sharing a joke with them, asking them to dance or mentioning something out of the ordinary that’s happening in your environment. Anything that briefly separates you from the rest of the world rapidly accelerates connection…

Also, any time you have a shared experience with someone, keep a note of it and bring it up subtly in conversation the next time you are with the person. This will strengthen the shared experience and open the door way for new ones…

So that’s the challenge I set for you for the next few days…Go out and see how many significant, shared experiences you can have with people, no matter how small…

I will of course be playing along myself…:-) Tomorrow night i’m off to a cuban salsa 1920’s gangster themed fancy dress ball…

I’m going with people who I don’t know that well and don’t really have any shared experiences with yet. What makes it even more challenging is that most of them have had lots of significant, shared experiences with each other and have already created a strong bond…So I’ll be a bit behind at first but you’ve got to start you shared experiences somewhere…:-)

I’ll let you know how it went in a later post…

All the Best & post a comment to let me know your thoughts.

Steven Burns, ‘The People’s Coach’, NLP Trainer, Therapist & Coach.

P.S For more information, free articles and products on how to overcome social anxiety check out The People’s Coach Guide to Social Confidence website.

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4 Responses to “Connecting with People – The Shared Experience…”

  1. Mike October 29, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Interesting points. In my experience I’ve found shared experiences only takes you so far. I can find shared experiences and common interests, etc. but my friendships don’t really go beyond that. So far, more often than not, those shared experiences involved drinking. I’m not much of a drinking/partier anymore, so it’s hard for me to develop friendships. But I am less concerned about finding common experiences and more concerned about opening up and developing trust–that’s the hard part for me.

    Anyway, good luck at the cuban salsa 1920′s gangster themed fancy dress ball. It sounds .. interesting. 🙂

    • letgoofsocialanxiety October 29, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

      Hi Mike, thanks for sharing…
      Yes shared experiences are only one part in this wonderfully mysterious energy that exists between people we call connection. In my opinion it’s not so much about finding shared experiences and common interests it’s more about having shared experiences. Ones that mean something to the both of you and have some kind of emotional impact. Of course if your having trouble opening up and developing trust then i’ve no doubt it’ll hinder you from having those types of experiences and, if you do have them, from getting the greatest amount of benefit from them.

      Trust is an interesting one though…you’ve maybe done it already but it can sometimes be useful to explore the following three areas:

      What trust means to you…
      What has to happen for trust to be there
      What stops you from trusting

      Thanks for the well wishes…
      Steve

  2. Mike November 1, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    I thought about your questions over the weekend, and I ended up writing a post about it- http://unhappyhappiness.com/2010/11/01/trust/

    Thanks!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. trust | Unhappy Happiness - November 1, 2010

    […] I discussed how I replace trust with constancy. Anyway, I came across an interesting comment on this post, and I want to address the questions left by the author– Trust is an interesting one […]

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