I recently got a question about how to connect to people. We stress connection at Cabin Fever and talk about it a lot.
You have to think in terms of connectors and dis-connectors. What connects you to people and what disconnects. It’s very simple and yet most people don’t think this way. I’ve heard people say, “Well, this is the way I am and if people don’t like me, they can stay away". While there is some truth to not shaping your personality to fit others, you can shape your behaviors to bless others.
Some people just want to be abrasive and that never connects. Some will joke too much and that can disconnect. Invading someone’s space can be disconnecting.
Jesus was the greatest of all connectors. He had a way of connecting with large crowds, a small group of twelve, an even smaller group of three, Peter, James and John. Even individually. He was the Master connector. He said, “Greater love has not man that this than he lay down his life for his friends.”
He was a friend first, then when He had to rebuke they would listen to Him.
I think you can see practical connectors and disconnectors in the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
Patience and kindness are two of the great connectors. If you are patient you will hear statements like “She never gave up on me.” “He stuck with me through thick and thin.” Meaning that you stayed connected a long time. Kindness is one of the spiritual forces listed in Galatians five in the fruit of the spirit we seldom talk about. If we could just get our kindness right we would have a lot less trouble with people.
Envy, pride arrogance and rudeness are all disconnectors listed in 1 Corinthians 13. I think those words pretty much speak for themselves. No one wants to be around a blowhard. I always tell my grandkids not to brag. People who live in a mansion you don’t have to tell anyone. They can just let the mansion do the talking.
I found this list of ten things I could do to boost my self esteem. They have done more for me than I can explain to you. These things not only boosted my confidence, they made me a world class connector. Connection was something that I had to learn. It wasn’t easy for me at first but as I grew, it became easier. Some of it is a little out dated but I think you’ll get the drift.
1.) Always greet the people you meet with a smile. When introducing yourself in any new association, take the initiative to volunteer your own name first, clearly; and always extend your hand first, looking the person in the eyes when you speak.
2.) In your telephone communication at work or at home, answer the phone pleasantly. When you initiate a call to any residence or place of business, always give your own name first, this underscores the fact that someone important is calling.
3.) When driving in your car, listen to things that will help you such as teaching and inspirational radio programs. Don’t waste this valuable time. Cars are the best rolling universities in the world.
4.) Invest in your own knowledge. Enroll in an extension or seminar class in some aspect of personal or professional development. Always have self improvement in mind.
5.) Always say thank you when you are paid any compliment, by any one, for any reason. Neither play down or play up value that is bestowed. The ability to accept is the universal mark of an individual with solid self-esteem.
6.) Don’t brag! People who trumpet their exploits and shout for service are actually calling for help.
7.) Don’t tell your problems to people, unless they are directly related to or involved in the solution. Also, don’t make excuses. Always talk affirmatively about the progress you are trying to make.
8.) Find successful role models that you can pattern yourself after. This is especially true with the things you fear. Find someone who has conquered what you fear, and get educated.
9.) When you make a mistake or get ridiculed or rejected, look at mistakes as learning experiences, and ridicule as ignorance. Look at rejection as part of one performance.
10.) Take one day a week and do things that you really enjoy, things that you really want to do. Enjoy being alive.
Things that bolster your self esteem will help you to connect.
Photo provided by: riccardo-annandale-140624-upsplach.com