“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 January 15, 2019
What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships
When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.
Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.
It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.
While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.
Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.
What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.
Table of Contents
How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships
It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.
People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:
“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”
In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.
Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.
As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.
When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?
It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.
What are Interpersonal Skills?
Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.
In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.
From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.
For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.
Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.
How to Improve Interpersonal Skills
There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important
Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master
I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.
Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,
“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”
Don’t overlook introspection.
While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.
Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:
When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.
Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,
“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”
The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.
The Bottom Line
You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.
Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com