“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”
Are you reminiscing about the days of your bygone youth with your friends and feeling nostalgic? Maybe the times you spent with your friends together during your college years, bunking classes and going to watch movies is all passing before your eyes. I know how much you miss the days when you were happily drunk together, or the moment you secretly lit that first joint in your dorm room. You feel the need to reconnect and share the same joy and ecstasy with your friends and you don’t know how to go about it, right?
Life is a journey and a lot of things change. You change. You take your own course in life and lose contact with old friends. Your friends finish school and take their own ways in life. However, the bond that existed between you and your friends makes you want you to rekindle the same relationship again.Advertising
Technology has made the world a small place to live in. Check out these 5 simple ways to reconnect with your old friends.
1. Join the alumni association
If you are looking to reconnect with your friends or your lab partner in high school or college, joining the alumni association is one of the easiest ways to do so. Most high schools keep track of their students even after their graduation and keep detailed information about their workplace, phone number, and current address. Try contacting them and, if you’re in luck, you are sure to find your friends. However, some schools and colleges might not be able to share information over the phone due to privacy issues which will require you to visit the institution and get the details in person.
Everyone has an email today and it’s almost certain that you have your friends’ email addresses somewhere in your old diaries or notes from your college years. Perfect. All you need to do is find the email of your friends that you want to get connected to and start hitting the keyboard.Advertising
Confused on how to start the email? Pick a subject like “Hey Dan, It’s Mark” and start writing the message saying that you’ve been trying to reconnect for a while and just wanted to say hi. Easy!
3. Facebook Message
Facebook is the world’s biggest form of social media today, with over 728 million daily users. Everyone’s on Facebook and it’s one of the easiest places you can find people to connect with. Even if you don’t know the email of your friend, you can find them just with their name. Even though you might get a lot of search results for the same name, you can find your friend through their profile picture. All you need to do next is add them or shoot them a message saying that you wanted to know what they’ve been doing lately.
Not just that, you can also keep updated with the progress of your friends by seeing their status updates, images, and videos that they’ve shared (if any).Advertising
4. Phone Call
Another option that you have to reconnect with your old friends is the telephone. All you need to do is pick up the phone, dial the number, and speak to them. If you don’t have their number, try calling their office (if you know where they work) or you can also use search engines like Google to figure out their current digits.
This might be an old school idea, but the voice of your friend, even if you leave a message, will keep you boosted and energized — and more likely to continue pursuing this reconnection.
5. Find a public database
A lot of information regarding people is available in public records and database that are available to access online for free. Sites listing Free Public Records allow you to find details regarding addresses, places of work, and relations for free. You can also call the city hall or the municipal government of the place your friend last lived to get details regarding their phone number and address, though it might take a lot of time.Advertising
Another free and simple-to-use database is a site called Pipl.com, which gives you information about the place of residence of your friend, with just his or her name, in a matter of seconds.
Getting in touch with your old friends can bring in a lot of excitement and nostalgia, all at the same time. Make sure to reminisce about the old moments while also planning to connect with them further and make new memories in the future.
Featured photo credit: Pinky Promise via pixabay.com
Last Updated on May 21, 2019
How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship
For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.
If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:
You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.
You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.
In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.
You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.
People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.
You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.
You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.
The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.
You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.
Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.
If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.
Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:
- Understand your own communication style
- Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
- Communicate with precision and care
- Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger
1. Understand Your Communication Style
To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.
In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.
Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.
2. Learn Others Communication Styles
Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.
If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:
“How do you prefer to receive information?”
This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.
To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.
3. Exercise Precision and Care
A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.
On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.
Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.
I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.
I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.
In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.
The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.
Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.
4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger
Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.
In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,
“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”
Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.
Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.
It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.
It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.
It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.
Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.
Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.
The Bottom Line
When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.
I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.
More Articles About Effective Communication
- Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work
- 13 Best Communication Books for Stronger Social Skills & Relationships
- How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home
- 7 Most Important Communication Techniques to Master in the Workplace
Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com
|||^||Entrepreneur: 14 Proven Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills|