How to connect with others

 What do you see when you look at this picture. Do you see two women interested in one another or do you see two women keeping distance from one another. Your interpretation can give you a clue about how easily you connect with others because how we perceive situations is directly linked to our own believes and experiences.

Why? Because if you perceive these women are interested in eachother then you are focussing on what they have in common such as they have similar age, dress sense, interest in walking through a park. Maybe they are both mothers since its daytime and they dont wear suits. If they are both in this park they probably both live in the same neighbourhood and like the same places to visit. Perhaps there are restaurants and museums nearby they both go to or perhaps they both shop at the same specialist food stores or visit the same library. Perhaps they have similar hobbies….there are so many of these topics they could start talking about. Once they found common interests these women could build a beautiful relationship and collaborate on many different levels. Lets organise playdates for our kids, lets share advice on books to borrow from the library, lets exchange goods such as paints one woman has too much and the other one needs in return for toys. Relationships after all are based on finding common ground and collaborating together.

Then there is the 2nd interpretation. A perception that these women are looking at each other in mutual judgement. This interpretation of the picture could be based on one or both women making assumptions over one another ie each thinks they already know the other person withoutfirst asking questions and listening to what the other has to say. Perhaps the lady on the left sees the expensive watch that the lady on the right wears and assumes: “Oh she must be very rich and looks down on people like me”. But is this true or is this merely her perception. Perhaps its her own fears of being poor that creates her perception. And as the lady on the left is looking at the watch with a serious expression on her face what does the watch owner perceive? Perhaps she thinks this other lady thinks Im spoilt because I wear this expensive watch. But is this the truth? Perhaps its just her own guilt at having money, some believe from childhood that being rich means being selfish. What is interesting is that both perceptions are in a way true but only for the one who is the perceiver. Each woman sees her own believes and fears reflected in the other like a mirror image.

So what could they do to make a connection? They could start by focussing on the commonalities and ask icebreaker questions like :”I noticed you often in this park. Do you live nearby?”. Often all it takes is one side to make the first move. Because as we start talking to one another we almost always find things we have in common. And as we get to know one another we can let go of our own fears and false believes to achieve what I believe every human being on this planet wants – to connect with others!

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