I try to make new connections – I truly do. But of late, I’ve been having issues of really connecting with people. I wonder if it’s me or is a phenomenon you experience too. Do you sometimes come away from having spent hours with a person or people, seemingly having a good time, but feeling empty inside?
It happened to me recently and while there was nothing intrinsically wrong with this group of people – well-read, intelligent and well-meaning men and women. Yet, I felt a certain sense of emptiness from the meeting. Something kept me back from being myself at this meeting. I felt that the hours I spent in their company didn’t really add value to me as a person. In turn, I wonder whether my presence made any difference to them too.
Which makes me ponder about being present to others. In a world that’s so connected, why is it hard to make real connections? I’m not against technology at all. However, when I’m with people, I’d rather be really communicating with them than attempting to make memories with my camera or tweeting about what we’re doing. I’m glad that I enjoy real presence with my husband, although sometimes I admit that I get caught up with my blogging and don’t make time for it. Thankfully, he’s great at reminding me about it.
Strangely, I sometimes seem to find real presence with certain people online too. I can have an intense ‘conversation’ with someone online and feel that both of us came away feeling like we’ve grown from this interaction.
I’m convinced we need real presence and real community if we wish to grow. I’m wondering how many of us have access to people and communities where we really feel like we belong. Places and people where we have nothing to prove – no competition, no attempts to talk over someone else, no vying to tell the funniest or the most outrageous story.
Do you too seek for real presence in your interactions?