I have a lot of relationships and friends. I have almost 5,000 relationships on Facebook, over 1,800 on Twitter, over 1,000 on Instagram and Pinterest, and over 1,000 combined on G+ and LinkedIn. But, there are very few people that I interact with on a direct or one-on-one level consistently. It’s the strange paradox we find our relationships in while in the midst of this social media age.
Most of us understand that relationships need nurturing. If you are in a relationship and you never see each other or communicate with each other, is there really anything there? I know as a married man, if my wife and I don’t communicate or spend time together, then that means things aren’t going too well.
A deeper connection
Sometimes it’s scary to be connected with so many people, to have so many relationships, but the interactions are minimal or superficial at best (a RT here, a LIKE there, etc.). To really have meaningful relationships we must go deeper, and going deeper doesn’t happen by accident. We have to be intentional.
I must admit, I struggle with it in a major way. I’m working on it, and I am putting some things in place to help me do so. Here are 3 ways I plan to be more intentional in my relationships, that can help you do the same.
- Create a list. Who is most important in your life? Of course your spouse/kids and immediate family, but who else? Write their names all down (including your spouse and kids). Use paper, your smartphone, Evernote, your computer, or even a voice recorder. Have a list of people that are very important to you, and vice versa, and that you want to go deeper with.
- Touch them regularly. Writing the names down doesn’t do any good if you don’t take some action. You want to interact with them on a regular basis, and if possible, interact with them one-on-one. The interaction doesn’t always have to be in person. It can be a phone call, an email, a card in the mail. Anything that allows you to “touch” them.
- Create a system to keep you on track. We all have good intentions, but we don’t always follow through on them. Having a simple system or tool to keep you on track is helpful. You may use a task management system, a calendar, or an app to remind you. Find something that will help you when life gets crazy and you feel like you are all over the place, because that will happen. I recently discovered the Intentional app that does just that. It’s a free app available for iPhones and Android phones that I’ll be trying out.
As we continue to live and have relationships where everybody is connected (via social), but nobody is connected (in real life), make sure you go deeper in your relationships. Don’t let them stay surface or social media level. Go beyond that to experience richer and more fulfilling relationships.
What other ways can you be more intentional in your relationships? Please share in the comment section below.