In a world of expanding integration of technology, we can sometimes forget that we are social beings at our core. Just examine how much of today’s technology use is based on social media. Sociologists identified that even if we have a small circle of relationships, we will integrate media, and sports figures into our virtual network to fill the open slots. They found that most of us have about 150 real or virtual people that make up our interpersonal network from day to day.
The days of working in a traditional office for many people have already come to an end, and for many more it won’t be long. More companies have recognized the value of allowing their staff to work remotely, but this brings its own issues. The interpersonal network is one of them. I have worked remotely for over 25 years and have adapted my life over the years to integrate a more fluid sense of what professional relationships look like. It also requires that I have a more intentional approach at developing a personal network of friends. Many of my friends come from several community organizations I belong to and from my hobbies. If you find yourself uncomfortable in social settings, it is even more important to be intentional about pursuing friendships. Even people who naturally gravitate toward time alone have a need for social connections and the interpersonal exchange that happens when we spend time with other people.
In an increasingly technological world, personal connections are the glue that hold our lives together. Do you embrace relationships or shy away from them? Knowing how this perspective has affected you in the past, what will be your approach going forward?
We all have varying levels of comfort with relationships, and there are some among us that dislike close personal connections. That is not my preference, but I do enjoy periods of solitude from time to time. It helps me get in touch with myself in a way that isn’t possible around people. This aloneness wasn’t always comfortable and I used to avoid it. What do you avoid, closeness or aloneness? Perhaps neither, but if one is less favorable, then I would ask you to venture into it more. Find the motivation to round yourself out and learn to value the other side. It will help you grow and strengthen other areas on this list.
This blog is part of a series from the book Discover Your Best Life by Mike Hintz. His personal, professional, and spiritual growth tools are also featured in Northlink Retreats. If this topic resonates with you consider reading the book or attending one of the upcoming Discover Your Best Life Retreats.