As Winter Solstice approached I carefully considered what I wanted to leave behind and what I want to achieve in 2012. In 2011 I was able to achieve my health and wellness goals. I had an unexpected opportunity to work side-by-side with my husband by traveling down a path with heart that drew us closer together than we have ever been. However, during that time I met new people and re-discovered how very poor I am at making small talk work for me.
Small talk used to make me crazy. It was painful to listen to the ritual, empty conversation that didn’t go anywhere. It felt so inauthentic — people saying things and pretending to care about them. I’d try to participate but it was energy draining. “Could we just get on with it?!” Small talk seemed such a time waster. — Have You Found a Way to Make Small Talk Work for You Yet?
Life lesson: The foundation every new relationship is built upon is small talk.
By their nature, open-ended questions invite others to go into detail, rather than giving you a short, one-sentence answer. Open-ended questions usually begin with words such as how, why, what, who, which, when and where.
Together and Alone Naturally
A relationship has deep value only if it’s genuine. The more of your vulnerable self you share with others, the more encouragement you provide for them to do the same. Most people long to be truly heard. Talking and listening to others about what your/their needs are, how they affect your/their life and how they affect your/their interaction leads to mutual appreciation and understanding.
Without doubt a network of supportive relationships contributes to psychological well-being. When you have a social support network, you have a sense of belonging, you feel an increased sense of self-worth and of security. Family and friends are extremely important to us. While you are appreciating what you have; maintaining an optimistic outlook; feeling a sense of purpose; and living in the moment; are you also devoting time to building deeper relationships?
Balancing Aloneness and Togetherness
Everyone needs time to be alone and time to be with others. For each of us the balance is different. For all of us creating a balance between need for solitude and the need to be in the company of others is challenging.
When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner still alertness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of collective human conditioning. — Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks
Life Lesson: Experiencing solitude enables real communion with others. We need time and space to be alone, to find ourselves in solitude, before we can give ourselves to one another in true togetherness.
Not every moment of the time you spend with others is spent in dialogue. When you don’t know another well you may be uncomfortable with silences. Your monkey mind may try to interpret the meaning of the silence and assign an inappropriate negative significance to it. Or you may feel at a loss as to what to do and strive to fill the silence. One-sided dominance of any conversation is an onerous burden. Over time you will naturally share companionable silences with people you care deeply for.
“It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.” — Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
In 2012 I intend to continue my health and wellness program including, eating healthier, reducing stress, exercising regularly, embracing positive thinking, learning how to love myself, and celebrating small successes. My over-arching goal for 2012 is to devote more time to building a deeper relationship with myself and with others.
The end of the year is the perfect time for self-love and self-evaluation. Love yourself for who you are right now and love yourself for knowing who you want to become more of. — How to end this year on a Fabulously Positive note
This is the time to evaluate what you have endured and have survived and open your heart to prepare for the spring to come. I’m an introvert, a loner, who has set a goal of becoming more adept at small talk, and at deeping my relationship with myself and others in 2012. Have you set any health and wellness and/or relationship goals for 2012?