Connection is on my mind a lot at the moment. How we connect, why we connect, what happens when we feel disconnected…
This week has been a hard one. The news cycles are all so negative and I find myself frequently, but impotently, screaming at the television reporters as they ask “but how did we get here and how can we fix it?” as they discuss Brexit, the divisions in America, the heartbreaking situation in Venezuela and the terrorist atrocity in New Zealand.
The answer, in my opinion, is both simple and incredibly complex. We got here because we are disconnected from each other. People who feel that they belong, do not harm the people they belong to. Community is desperately, deeply needed, now, more than ever. We have a lot of work to do. We need stronger leaders, who can build stronger community to re-establish our sense of belonging in the world. The work starts now, and begins again every single day. There will never be an end to it. I’m in, are you with me?
Until then, let’s get on with the Notes…
1) Making friends: The Adult Version
I’ve moved countries five times as an adult now and each time I have had to recreate my friendship circle from scratch. For an introvert, this is a difficult and somewhat uncomfortable experience. But the alternative, life as a hermit, while occasionally attractive is probably not as fulfilling as it looks. Making friends as an adult is not as easy as you would expect it to be. Which is where having some science backed advice can come in very useful.
2) Community = Creativity
Nothing has pushed my creativity, pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to learn more than being a community builder. But you don’t have to be a community builder to benefit from the creativity that can come from being part of a community. Use your community wisely to enhance your creativity.
3) Social Media or social Exclusion
I’m doing a lot of reading around the effects of exclusion on social media at the moment. It isn’t something that I had really delved into before. After all, there are enough people in the world who will tell you that “It’s just a Facebook group, it isn’t important”. But for many people, their online communities are their lifeline and exclusion for whatever reason can have a profound impact.
4) Better conversation
There are people who can strike up a conversation anywhere with anyone. Sitting on a bus, with their seatmate on a plane, standing in line for coffee. Because small talk makes me uncomfortable, over the years I have developed an aura of “aloof, unavailable, ice queen” a la Bridget Jones. I am not a person that others spontaneously start talking to. If that sounds familiar to you or if you just want to have better conversations with other people, these three tips are a great starting point.
5) Instagram Story Templates
Have you seen those cute little templates going round on Instagram? You screenshot the blank one, fill it out in your Stories and share the blank again for other people. They are a great way to start conversation and engagement amongst the people who follow you. If you want to try making some of your own, this is an excellent guide on how to get started.
Until the next Notes,
P.S. I’m working on a little connection experiment using Medium to see if it is possible to create connection through writing. I am currently publishing a mix of old and new writing and so far it’s going… not too badly. You can follow along with what I am doing over there and read my latest pieces, How Do You “Do It All”?, What I Learnt When I Took My Son to Work and Do You Want To Be a Tugboat or a Lighthouse? All of these links are my “friend” links so you can use them without using up one of your three premium articles on Medium each month.
Who am I and who do I help? I’m Emmy McCarthy and I make small businesses better and help people create leadership in their communities.
❓ Do you have a burning question that you think I can answer? I don't have all of the answers, but that just gives me a good excuse to learn more. Hit reply to this email to send me your question.
🎙 Would you like me to speak on your podcast or present to your audience? I'd love to! Visit my speaking page to get in touch.
✍️ Did a friend share this edition of the Notes for the Curious with you? Thank them from me, then make sure you sign up for your own copy. It will arrive in your inbox every two weeks.