How to Connect to People With Love

People's stories matter, and being an active listener is key. Here's how you can start.

August 8, 2017
couple talking love
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Adapted from Jim Curtis' The Stimulati Experience

Part of connecting to others is being an active listener. People who connect with others by listening to their story generate more hope for themselves by modeling their actions after others' successes. This is one of the main premises of Remedy Health, where we've studied the responses of our clients and tracked their health experiences. This is the reason why stories matter.

More: The Most Powerful Way to Overcome Resentments

You can connect with friends, family, or even acquaintances you see in your town. Take an interest in them and listen carefully to their stories. Here's how you can start.

friend group fun
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1. Make a list of your crew

Create a list of five people you already know—your inner circle—who you want to connect with authentically and evaluate your relationships with each of them. 

More: The 'A-Ha' Moment That Led Me to Hope

friends talking sofa
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2. Then call and reconnect with your inner circle

Listen carefully to the other person's story. Curiosity is pretty safe: It's easier to find out more about other people than to tell your story. However, you have to be authentically curious: If you don't want to know the answer to the question, find another question to ask. People will know when you aren't interested in what they have to say.

More: The Most Powerful Way to Overcome Resentments

Here are some of my favorite conversation starters. They all allow the people you are speaking with to relive a positive feeling, which will open them up to telling more stories. Pose the question and then shut up and listen. Even if you want to interject, like when you know something about their story or could add to their story, don't. You don't have to fill an empty space in the conversation: Your silence allows others to tell more of their story.

"I've always been curious about your life; would you be comfortable telling me more?"
"I was impressed when a certain event happened. how did you feel about it?"
Or create a question of your own, based on information you have about that person. It could be about their job, their family, their kids, or their pets—whatever interests you about them.

meeting new people
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3. Expand your circle

Get outside of your inner-core family and friends and connect with someone new. You run into so many people every day. Conversations like these can open you up to the possibility of meeting new people.

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