It all starts with a hello, ammiright? Relationships are so important. I would say they are in fact the most important things. Imagine your life without relationships – and I am not just talking romantic relationships, I am talking ALL relationships. No relationships with coworkers, family members, friends, bloggers, or strangers. It is hard to imagine because it is almost impossible to live without relationships.
Okay, so relationships may be inevitable but they are also not the easiest things in the world. Maintaining good & healthy relationships take work. You have to talk through differences, support each other during hard times, forgive and also ask for forgiveness, and spend time together. Because all of us have been hurt by at least one relationship in life, we can tend to guard ourselves. So we want relationships but we are afraid of them and we live in a weird relationship medium where we know people and people know us but we don’t really know them and they don’t really know us. It is hard to make the first move, and maybe we feel like if people really cared they would reach out but I have a secret, everyone feels that way. Like my good friend Winnie the Pooh says, “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” Someone has to make the first move and say Hello!
Your best friends may come from the most unexpected places. My college best friend Tori was a girl who walked out of behind a tree and sat with me at lunch – after that, we were inseparable. Bruce was just a funny boy who talked to me & made me laugh, after six years of that he found out he didn’t want life without me & asked me out. Jessiann threw up at my parents house and had to stay home from camp which allowed time for me to meet her. Gretchen & I were like weird arch enemies the day we met and suddenly we realized we were knit from the same thread. Sam (of Elah Tree) pressured me into a google hangouts and now we text & share as if we were friends for ever even though we still have never met in real life. And Megan was home-schooled, who knows how we became friends 😉 I could go on, the point is that each friendship has a story but it always starts with a hello! So I want to share with you some tips for making connections!
1. Send & Respond to Emails
I wrote a post last week about sending emails! You should read it over and then be confident enough to email some of your favorite blogger and brands! Also, responding to emails is so important. If someone reached out to you, say hi back! It is just that simple. That is how Samantha of Elah Tree and I became friends (and now we are planning a trip to meet in real life!)
2. Comment on Blog Posts
When you think something positive or encouraging about someone’s blog post, comment on it! Sometimes I can read a post, connect with it, learn from it, laugh out loud because of it but just click off the page. Share some love! If you connected with the post in any way, say hello and share that. You may bond over that shared experience!
3. Compliment Others (even Strangers!)
I started making a conscious effort to not always keep my compliments in my head a couple years ago. If I remember it correctly, I was walking with Bruce and I told him that I loved a girl’s t-shirt or something as we were walking by her. He said, “You should tell her! How fun to get a compliment by a random stranger.” I love it when people I don’t know comment on my Deathly Hallows Car Sticker or tell me they love the way I did my hair. The world needs more encouragement, share it – with everyone.
4. Have treats on your Desk or in your home
Everyone knows where the candy is in an office! It is the gathering place/ the I am just going to go on a quick walk ending place. You can also do this at home by always having a treat for guests when they come over or something in your purse! Connecting over food is a great place to start!
5. Be Brave
Just say hello to the person you see at the mailbox all the time or the grocery clerk in the store. A smile and a hello can go a long way and may only be the beginning of a wonderful story!