The Importance of Connecting With Others (and Tips To Help)
Humans are social creatures and whether we think so or not, we require social interactions with others. Think about being a child and how one of the basest instincts of children is to connect with other children. On the surface, it just seems like they want to play, but that “wanting to play” is indicative of a need to interact with others. That’s why, for most children, it is always more fun to play with others than to play alone.
As we grow up, these social interactions take many different forms, including building friendships, caring for family members, working with others, dating and being in relationships, teaching children, and more. Throughout our lives, the connections that we build with others are some of the most meaningful experiences we have. They impact how we grow and develop and also affect our perspective on life as a whole and how we feel about our place in it. In this article, we’ll look at why connecting with others is so important and share some tips to help.
Why Connecting With Others Is Important
Interacting with other people is an essential part of our lives from the moment we are born. No matter what we do, other people are usually involved at some point in some capacity. But why is that, and why is it so necessary? Let’s look at this article, The Importance of Connecting With Others HERE.
- Learning – One of the first ways we learn is through imitation. Without other people—and our interactions with them—we would not learn anything or develop. This isn’t only true during our early years, either. We continue to learn from others our entire lives, making social connections and interactions vital to the abilities, skills, personalities, and knowledge we have.
- Improved Quality of Life – Connections with others can also lead to improved quality of life and even a longer lifespan. This is because social isolation is linked to increased health risks brought on by unhealthy habits and not taking care of our bodies. This can result in a weakened immune system, coronary heart disease, stroke, increased blood pressure, depression, and more. When we socialize and connect with others, we feel good, which in turn boosts our bodies and helps us remain healthy.
- Improved Mental Health – Similarly, when we connect with others, we feel valued, understood, and fulfilled. This makes us feel like we matter and can boost our self-esteem, which makes us feel good about ourselves. Feeling this way reduces feelings of social isolation and loneliness, which can negatively impact our mental health and cause insomnia, cognitive decline, sadness, and even depression. Ultimately, connecting with others improves our mental health and helps us to feel better about ourselves and life as a whole.
There are many reasons why connecting with others is important—and beneficial to us—but that doesn’t make doing so any easier. So, what can we do to prevent having a hard time connecting with others?
Tips for Connecting With Others
Socializing isn’t always easy, and the ability to connect with others doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It takes a lot of courage and confidence to put ourselves out there, and even when we do, other people don’t always reciprocate our efforts.
Certain individuals and groups may also have more difficulty and face greater barriers when it comes to connecting with people than others do. This can be particularly true for people with disabilities (PWD), as they often experience increased loneliness and social isolation. But there are certain things we can do and steps we can take to assist in building relationships with other people. Here are some of the best tips for connecting with others:
- Take a Deep Breath – First, take a deep breath (or a few) to help calm yourself. Thinking about connecting with others can make you feel anxious, but taking a second to breathe can help you to relax. We often get worked up over things before they even happen and build them into a bigger deal than they are. This can stress us out and impact how we feel, which can also affect how we communicate with and come off to others. Do your best to calm yourself and understand that social interactions are not life or death.
- Start With Simple Questions – Another useful piece of advice when connecting with others is to start with simple questions. We often feel as though we have to be the most perfect, interesting, and impressive person in the world. However, simply making the effort to socialize with someone else is a kind gesture that can make them feel appreciated. It can be as simple as talking about the weather, sports, local events, or anything else. The main point is to start a dialogue, no matter what it’s about. Then a connection and bond can grow from there.
- Be Genuine – One of the best ways to connect with others is to be genuine. Faking who you are and acting in a way that you think others want—but is not truly you—is not a healthy practice. It also won’t benefit you in the end because any social interaction with those individuals after that point won’t be with your true self. People can also usually tell when someone is being genuine, and they respect it. In fact, they even tend to gravitate toward those they know are genuine and honest.
- Look for Common Interests – Another useful tip is to look for common interests with other people. This may seem somewhat obvious, but sometimes we overlook the things we like because we think others won’t appreciate them. However, they present many opportunities to socialize and connect with others, whether it is playing video games, sports, board games, reading, watching movies and TV shows, or joining clubs and groups where you know others will have common interests with you. This takes out the stress of having to find things you both like, so you can more easily bond about the interests you already share and then also move on to different topics from there.
- Find Opportunities That Make Connecting Easier – Finally, it’s especially important to find opportunities and situations that make connecting with others easier. As mentioned earlier, social isolation and loneliness are more common in people with disabilities than in those without disabilities. One of the main reasons is that PWD face barriers—like mobility issues—that limit the opportunities they have to interact with others.
However, the internet and other technological advancements have become vital resources for staying connected and have made it easier than ever before. Whether you are playing video games, talking on the phone, chatting on a video call, texting, streaming, or anything else, there are many opportunities to socialize and connect with others at the touch of a few buttons.
At AbleGamers, our mission is to create opportunities that enable play in order to combat social isolation, foster inclusive communities, and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. We know that video games can be the perfect gateway to community participation, lifelong friendships, and unforgettable shared experiences. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure these experiences are developed with accessibility as a priority and inclusion as the goal.
We are working every day to make sure people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else for positive experiences through play. With our nearly two decades as pioneers in inclusive play, thousands of hours working with people with disabilities, and leading developers and engineers, we create opportunities for players to find inclusive places to play and connect with family and friends. Learn more about what we do here, or help continue our crucial work by making a monetary donation or purchasing something from our shop!