How Do I Form Meaningful Relationships with People? 

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meaningful relationships

Hey Linda,

What a good question! The basics of what you need to do are all demonstrated for you in that Facebook Live you watched, and that is you need to be willing to look bad while still having grace.

There I was, two minutes into the Live post and the fucking phone rings! Then towards the end, the dog knocked over my light. And I managed it all still holding my own, with a willingness to let the word see the blunders. With those kinds of mistakes, it’s super-tempting to redo the whole damned thing. Every time I mess up, accidentally put the camera at a bad angle, flub a word, lose my train of thought because I’m on camera live, I want to do-over… and I never do – because it’s real. And people like real.

You’ve got to be willing to show people your flaws and imperfections and vulnerabilities and they will LOVE you for them, not judge you. Okay, let’s be honest, some people might judge you a little, but who cares? Not you. Because you’ll have so much love from your friends that you won’t even notice anything else.

Instead of talking about the weather, talk about what matters to you. What do you love about your life? What are you challenged by? What’s happening that’s upsetting you? What’s your actual deal? And listen to your friends reveal themselves too.

The final step to moving beyond what lies on the surface is you have to be of significant benefit to your people. This is not a “golden rule” thing. I think “do unto others..” is kinda lame. I don’t want people to treat me as I would treat them. Not if we hope to get different things from each other… (Think love languages.)

I have a friend who gives stellar advice and she’s very insightful. I count on her for that. She can’t listen to me for more than seven minutes without interrupting, and that’s okay by me. She counts on me to listen, as in give her my full attention, for as long as she needs – even if it takes over an hour or two, and that’s a core skill I have that’s reserved for certain people in my life. We all have different skill sets.

Find out what people want from you, and see if you can give it – whether that be time, a listening ear, an activity friend, a wise advisor, or a wisecracker, whatever… And what would you like from them in return?

And let’s circle back to the most important aspect: Vulnerability. Vulnerability takes courage, and you won’t find a deep relationship anywhere in the word without it.

Take care.