Mini: Social Distance
This week’s reflective is about social connections in this time of ‘social distancing’. Who are you connecting with? And is this a good time to reach out to someone you’ve not talked to a while?
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Hello and welcome to this weekly mini-episode of The Curious Coach Podcast. Due to the current challenges facing the world, I’ve spend much of my time over the last couple of weeks, making video calls using Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Facetime. And I’m sure I’m not alone.
So, this week’s reflection is therefore around how socially connected we’ve become despite being asked to keep our social distance. I must admit, “social distance” is a term I’ve come to really dislike. “Physical distance” would be a much better way to describe it. If anything, I’ve become more socially closer to a number of people.
I find myself watching more of those entertaining or inspirational posts on WhatsApp or LinkedIn. It’s also quite funny when someone posts something to the wrong WhatsApp group – and even when it happens, it still brings a virtual smile to everyone’s face. I’m also talking more to my geographically dispersed family members – we’re all just checking-in with each other to see how we’re all doing.
And at this stage, I feel I’ve seen a number of different rooms belonging to various colleagues as they’ve taken various video calls from different parts of their houses.
In some ways, I’m more connected now to a wider group of people than before. And at the same time, I can also go through phases where I feel quite alone. All these digital interactions aren’t quite the same as sitting down in person with someone – for those small, bite-sized social interactions that I’d probably taken previously for granted. And you know what? That’s ok. It feels like a perfectly normal way to feel at the moment, and that lonely feeling comes and goes. Now, when I recognise it happening, I’ll simply acknowledge it and then realise that I probably need to take a break from the work I’m doing, have a cup of coffee and a chat with my wife, interact with my bemused dog or go for a run.
So, my challenge for you this week is to become aware of who you’re interacting with. Be curious about whether these are people you’d normally interact with or have you started to connect with people you’d maybe lost touch with, or haven’t talked to in a while. In fact, as you become curious, maybe now’s a good time to think about who you might consider reaching out to and checking-in with. Can you brighten your own day by brightening someone else’s? There’s never been a better time to send a simple message: “Hey, I know it’s been a while, was just thinking about and was wondering how you’re doing – hope you’re keeping safe and well?”
I don’t know about you, but I do enjoy some of these simple messages from people I’ve not talked to for a while. Don’t you?
So, simple as that, whilst becoming physically distance for the sake of those you love, reach out and become socially connected to those you care about and with those you might have lost touch with. See how that simple act can maybe alter how you’re feeling? What do you notice?
As always, if you’d like to get in touch and share what you noticed, please don’t hesitate to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and that’s stephen with a p.h. Full details of this and all the other episodes can be found on my website at stephenclements.ie/podcast
Thanks for listening and until next time, don’t forget – stay curious!