Human Connection Requires Intention

December 31, 2020

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We’re talking CONNECTION today, and this is one to pay attention to.

Connection with another human being doesn’t happen by accident, and connection often won’t be convenient.

Relationships in general often aren’t convenient, but they fulfill us in ways that nothing else can. We have to make the conscious decision to pour into others, to give people our full, undivided attention, to be curious and willing to learn.

When you go about connecting with intention, everything shifts. And in a time when we’re all feeling lonelier and more isolated than ever, we need to be even more intentional and get creative about how we interact with others.

You can click the podcast player above to listen now or scroll down to read the full transcription of today’s episode!


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Connection Requires Intention 

You’re listening to Episode 242 of the Room to Grow podcast. I’m Emily Gough, a human connection coach, speaker and mental health advocate with an insatiable sense of curiosity and adventure, always asking more questions and using the power of stories to teach, learn and grow. It’s about allowing for room to grow and this podcast focuses on three main pillars: human connection, personal growth and freedom. We cover topics like relationships, and cultivating genuine supportive connections with ourselves and others, speaking your truth, shattering personal barriers, radical self acceptance, and courageously leaning into your skill sets. Whether it’s a solo episode, or bringing on highly curated guests with incredible stories, experiences and expertise to share, we’re leaning in and taking the entire idea of growth to the next level, all while still covering the uncomfortable topics that many of us like to avoid, there’s always more room to grow. Let’s do this. 

Hey, Hey, welcome back to the Room to Grow podcast Emily here. And today, we’re gonna be talking about how connection requires intention. And I think that this is a really important way to start thinking about connection because a lot of times we can just sort of assume that we will have those magic Hallmark movie moments where we just naturally click with somebody and i’m not even talking about romantic relationships by the way, this is with friendships with any variety of relationships, that we’re just always going to have that magic movie moment where we just click with somebody, and that’s sunshine and rainbows and we we all live happily ever after. Okay? No, that’s not how it works. Yes, there can absolutely be people that enter our lives that we do just naturally feel a deep connection with. And that’s amazing, that’s beautiful. But that connection still requires a huge amount of intention, in order for it to grow and flourish. And to sustain over the long term, we can connect with all kinds of people. But a lot of times, I find we’re either just waiting for the right people so called to materialize, like poof out of thin air in our life. And we’re like, you know, what, we just haven’t connected with people more deeply because the right people just haven’t landed in our lives yet. And again, yes, sometimes that can be true. But in order to cultivate that connection, it is going to require more intention. And then the other side of that is we may already have people in our lives or people who are appearing in our lives that we feel deeply connected to, but it is still also going to require intention in order to sustain and grow and deepen that connection even further. And connection with another human being. It doesn’t happen by accident. It simply doesn’t. We would love to think that it does, but it doesn’t. That’s just not how it works. And oftentimes, this is a really important piece to remember here. Connection is often not going to be convenient, either. Connection is not convenient. Sometimes it is great. That’s a happy coincidence. But often, the connections that we cultivate in our lives are going to require our attention and our intention. Because relationships in general often aren’t convenient, but they fulfill us in ways that nothing else can. Nothing else can. 

I’ve had this conversation with with several people lately that we are going to get to the end of our lives and think, damn, I’d wish I’d posted that that one more thing on Instagram, or I wish I’d spend another 10 minutes scrolling Instagram or sent that extra email or that’s not what we’re going to be thinking about. We’re going to be thinking about the incredible relationships and connections that we have in our lives, and the people that bring meaning to our lives. But that doesn’t just happen by itself. Any relationship is a two way street. And often it will not be convenient. I was just so incredibly deeply touched. Recently when I reached out to a really dear friend of mine who is one of the busiest people I know. But he handles it with ease. He makes it look very easy. You would never know he’s the busiest person you know, let’s put it that way. I just happen to know that about him. But he never makes you feel that way when you’re in his presence. But he’s in a constant state of having people vying for his attention. He has multiple businesses to run all of these things going on. And yet I reached out to him in a low moment, this actually happened twice in the last few weeks where I reached out to him two different times, and a low moment, he got back to me immediately, and basically dropped everything to speak to me for an extended period of time, like picked up the phone and called me to talk me through some things that I was dealing with. And this is also very typical of this particular person. I know that he does this with the people closest to him in his life, because those relationships are so important to him, even though he has a ton of other things going on. It is not convenient for him to cultivate these relationships in these connections. And a lot of times, I’m certain that it actually costs him in order to cultivate these relationships, and cost him in a variety of different ways, particularly with his time. But these relationships are so important to him that he makes the time for the people that matter most. And I was so moved by that, incredibly moved. And those are the kinds of people that we all want to be around more. And don’t get me wrong, there still have to be boundaries, like yes, we can’t just drop everything for every person in our life who wants our attention all the time. Okay, no, we have to have boundaries, we have to know our limits, we have to know when we have, you know, focus time that we need to dedicate towards something or someone else. But those are the kinds of things that, it’s Maya Angelou I believe, who said, we won’t necessarily remember what people said, but we will remember how they made us feel. And that’s really powerful. Like, I will never forget these times that this friend of mine has put things aside in his very busy life, to offer me advice and to help me out when I was having a tough moment. And it wasn’t convenient. And this is what I mean about connection requires a great deal of intention. And he’s not the only person in my life like that either. I have a couple best friends in particular, who will always put aside the time for me when I need it, even though I know that they have a huge amount on their plate. And that is such a beautiful gift that we can give to someone. And we have to make the conscious decision to pour into others, to give people our full undivided attention and to be curious and willing to learn. And when we can make another human being feel seen, heard, valued and understood, it is an incredible, incredible gift. And we have to be open to these interactions as well because we get out of them what we pour into them every person you come across is a possibility for a bond or connection that you might never have been able to dream up. But the best approach is to go into every interaction without looking to gain anything simply to show kindness as well.

 Another story of this where you know going into an interaction without expecting anything in return. I had someone reach out to me on instagram just to say hi they had listened to the podcast they loved a particular episode that they wanted to to mention to me and this person  was lovely. Instagram DMs can get filled with you know like some spam stuff and people who are just looking to get something out of you and I can really feel the difference with people and I could tell this person just genuinely wanted to connect so I thanked them obviously for listening, like I love when people reach out to to let me know that an episode impacted them in some way I’m over @emilygoughcoach by the way, I would love to have a chat with you. But I could just tell this person was super genuine. I said hey, you know what, I’d love to just jump on the phone. Just you know, 20 minutes like to learn a little bit about you just say hi and connect. I had 0 motive at all for that. None at all. I had no ulterior motive, I had nothing in mind other than quite literally just getting to know this person a little bit more to connect, to take the time to connect with this person. Out of the blue. This person randomly offers to feature me in a major publication and I will end up talking about the story more once once the publication actually comes out. Completely out of nowhere. I had no idea that this person was associated with that publication at all. I had no clue. And I was just having a conversation and she whipped it out of her back pocket. It was like hey, I’d love to feature you. I’m like what? I was so taken aback and that’s just one example of quite literally just showing genuine kindness. And people can sense that. And they’re a lot more likely to want to give back to you when that’s what you are giving to them. And it’s not that we should be giving from a place of, you know, genuine kindness, but also on the side secretly hoping that we get something out of it, because then that’s not, that’s not just giving from that place of genuine kindness, then you do have some ulterior motives there. But when we just give for the sake of giving, you will be surprised at what the universe hands back to you. Truly, I really, really mean that. And you also just have an opportunity to make some humans day brighter. It doesn’t take much to smile to let someone have you in line to make a kind comment to give a compliment, you know, a genuine compliment to just, in this day and age, jump on a quick zoom call with somebody just to get to know them a little bit better. It doesn’t take much. And if you feel like you’re growing apart, or you’re disconnected from someone, especially someone who is important to you, ask yourself what you have poured into that relationship first, before you start pointing fingers at anyone else.  If you want to go a little bit more into that, you can also jump back to Episode 241. All about how to have hard conversations as well. But this is something that we need to think about if we’re feeling like we’re super disconnected from the people in our lives, that we are just sort of going at it alone that we feel very misunderstood. Have you taken the time to try to understand those around you? Have you taken the time to connect with others, to give people your full undivided attention? These are the kinds of things that we have to ask before we start just sort of boohooing our way to thinking that nobody understands us and we’re all alone and we feel very disconnected. Okay, those are very valid feelings and I have felt that a lot before but sometimes we have to look beyond that to see what we are giving first. 

And some things to remember here when it comes to connecting with intention is number one is to be genuine. Always, that is always my rule number one is to be genuine. You will hear me say this on so many different podcasts episodes, I will continue to say this be genuine people can sense that shit, okay? People can sense that shit. 

Number two is to prioritize people, especially those you hold most dear, who are more important to you, strangers on the internet, or the people closest to you. Because let me say this, the person that I jumped on a call with who connected with me on Instagram. That was great. That was amazing. And I had the space to do that. But if I started prioritizing it, every stranger who reached out to me on the internet, if I got on a call with every single one of them without prioritizing the people in my inner circle first, that would be a problem. So you know, I will always tell people, you still need to connect with your core inner circle first, they still need to be your priority. And then you can still be cultivating all these other beautiful relationships as well. It doesn’t have to be an either or thing. And you need to prioritize the people you hold most dear.

Number three is to give without expectation, with healthy boundaries in place. Okay, with healthy boundaries. This is something that I’m going to be teaching a huge amount in the Room to Grow Mastermind, which is launching on January 18. And, boundaries, communication, connection, these are all the things that we’re going to be really going deep into in the mastermind, but giving without expectation. So I’m going to use that call again, just as an example. I jumped on that call with zero expectations of anything, nothing. I had absolutely no expectations whatsoever. And I would have been just as happy with that call. If nothing had come out of it other than just saying hi and getting to know somebody a little bit better. That would have been perfectly fine with me. Compared to the fact that it just happened to be that she then offered to feature me in a major publication, that was purely just a bonus for me because I went into the call with zero expectations. 

Number four is to be open to the connection. Listen, the number of us that walk around with resting bitchface and a fuck you stamped on her forehead is astonishing. Because and listen, I don’t blame anyone for that because I certainly have done that and still go through moments of doing that when I don’t want to talk to humans. I don’t want to talk to anybody. I don’t feel like connecting at that particular moment. But we can’t, we can’t be surprised when we don’t cultivate deeper connections if we’re walking around like that all the time. 

And if we aren’t putting any effort in whatsoever, which leads me into my next point number five, which is to reach out to others, if we’re always waiting for other people to come to us, we might be waiting for a really long fucking time. And sometimes extra effort is going to be required on our end, especially because connection, we are going to feel 100% connected to the people closest to us 100% of the time, that’s just not natural, it is natural in any type of relationship, for that connection to ebb and flow to a degree. Sometimes we, you probably have experienced this with your partner or with your best friend, where, you know, maybe life is getting super crazy, and you almost feel like two ships passing in the night. But then there are other times, you know, work is taking over, or kids or whatever that looks like, but then you make the intentional effort to come back together again, and to deepen that connection. And, and yes, you will have moments where you feel incredibly connected to that other human. Other times, you might not feel quite as connected, but that’s okay, that’s still normal, that’s natural. But it’s still ultimately going to be your responsibility to step up and reach out sometimes not all of the time, because relationships also need to be reciprocal. And there has to be some balance there. If you’re the one reaching out to somebody else all the time, then that might need to be a hard conversation that you have with that person. Or that may tell you that they maybe aren’t as interested in maintaining that connection as you are. But it is natural to have some ebb and flow. And sometimes we are going to need to put in a little bit of extra effort to be a little bit more intentional, especially if we know that maybe there’s something really significant happening in the other person’s life, or they’re dealing with major circumstances. You know, something is really overtaking them, that’s when you as somebody who is important to them, it might be up to you to step up a little bit more. And that sort of thing, that balance that gets created within a relationship. 

Something else is something that a coach told me years ago, be interested to be interesting. Ask questions, be curious about the other person. That’s really, really important. And a lot of times, we might spend so much time being committed to feeling misunderstood, that we don’t look at the other side of the equation, which is to ask more questions to understand others better. And that’s actually going to help you to feel more understood yourself. Partly because that deepens the connection with somebody else. And then feeling more understood yourself is just going to be a natural side effect of that. So be interested to be interesting and ask questions. 

Which leads me into my last point about listening. Listen, this is so important. Listening is required to show presence and care to the person that you were in conversation with. This is really, really crucial. We’ve all had conversations with somebody where they were distracted, they were scrolling their phone, we could tell that they clearly weren’t engaged. They didn’t seem interested in what we were saying. Their mind was 1000 miles away, and they didn’t even really notice what we had said to them. I was in conversation with somebody where I could tell that they were distracted. And this has happened several times. So it wasn’t, you know, the very first time that this has happened where they had been very distracted. So I was talking and they were distracted. And I then said something about Yeah  I cut myself in the shower, and I don’t know if you noticed I got blood all over the bathroom floor. All these things. And there yep, yep, yep. I started to laugh. I said, Oh, so you heard what I said. And they kind of looked up and they were a little bit surprised. They’re like, Wait, what? Oh, you didn’t care about how I bled all over the bathroom floor from cutting myself shaving? They’re like What? That’s just one example of not listening very well. Right. So listening is a required skill to show the other person that you care that you value them and that you are actually interested in maintaining the connection with them. And when you go about connecting with intention, everything shifts and in a time when we’re all feeling lonelier and more isolated than ever before. We need to be even more intentional and get super creative about how we interact with others, whether that’s more zoom calls, more FaceTime, more audio messages, you know, snail mail, even something that that you can send to somebody. If you can do a little drive by visit or something like that, I know that these are very unusual times. But it is going to require us to step it up in terms of how we connect with intention, even when it is incredibly inconvenient, and sometimes actually quite difficult to do right now. 

The power of human connection impacts everything from our immune system to how long we live, and our overall life satisfaction and happiness. And it’s the biggest reason why I’ve created the room to grow mastermind, which is this super intimate group, it’s an eight week long process that is going to be open and willing to you have to be open and willing to intentionally create new connections and to strengthen the existing connections and relationships you already have in your life. And that’s what we’re going to be working on in the mastermind. So the doors are already open to sign up and then we actually start on January 18. So jump over to the show notes over at, all the links will be in the show notes as well to book a call with me if you want to chat. If you’ve got some questions, you just want to connect, I’m happy to do that. And to make sure that it would be a good fit for you. I’m so excited about this. This is the work that I have been doing on the podcast for two and a half years, taken to a whole new level. And really deepening our understanding and actually applying a lot of the things that I teach on this podcast so that you can truly implement it in the relationships in your life. Not only the relationships that you have with others, but the relationships that you have with yourself the relationship that you have with yourself as well. Okay, so Room to Grow Mastermind. We’re starting on January 18. So make sure to get in there January 18th 2021. And I will see you in there!


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