I was reading a Buffer article on interacting on Twitter. The writer Ashley Read, recalls a story about a writer reaching out to him and the impact it had. The take away: human connections matter.
This is hard for me, because I am mainly an introvert. But even I have to admit that personal interactions affect me. The past few days/weeks on Twitter have proven this fact. From going to #storylineconf, to being followed by Michael Hyatt and Preston Sprinkle, I’ve realized I crave attention. Not in a self-centered way, but in a way that focuses on meaningful interactions.
It was cool when they followed me because I in turn follow and admire their work. I wouldn’t have thought I’d have such a strong reaction, but I think it’s a reaction we all have. Encouragement is so rare in society, and these positive social interactions encourage others.
So how can we impacts others?
I really think it is this simple. Too many times, we’re quick to be mean or sharp. I’m preaching to myself on this. But nice interactions leave a lasting impression. Samantha has gotten to know one of our neighbors recently, and the neighbor told her she thought I was a really great guy. Thing is, I’d spoken to this person only once. However, that one interaction (which was started by the neighbor, not me) led her to have a good opinion of me.
Simply engaging others in everyday situations leaves both parties better than they were before.
I think we’ve gotten so locked into our boxes we don’t try. I’ve started to make an effort to look for ways I can impact others. Why? Because I think that pleases God, encourages the other person, and helps us. That’s the definition of a no-lose situation. We have an intern at work. She plays basketball and we made a point to go to a game of hers. Seeing her reaction when we walked into the gym, and then her email of appreciation, you realize very quickly that people love to be noticed. Something else happened too: I felt good as well.
By supporting others, we not only lift that person up, we lift the group up as well.
Have deep interactions
I gain energy from being alone, but I’ve also realized recently I gain energy from engaging interaction. Not small talk like we have in our day-to-day lives, but the conversations and relationships that challenge you and change you for the better. The type of relationships where you can ask the hard question and give the truthful answers.
“Relationships have a way of stabilizing when in motion.” – Donald Miller
It really is simple, but it does take some thought. For me, this started with others extending niceness to me. I quickly realized if I extend the same, you start to impact others. To impact others positively not only helps them, it helps you. And it is contagious.
Be contagious by being nice.