How to create a deep and meaningful connection

Somewhere in the depths of our travels time seems to slip us by, and here, on the dusty road of life, we find our journey in the passions which draw us forward. So why is it that the briefest of moments pull our heartstrings with such conviction? A conversation shared between close friends across the guise of beer, the still of two lovers’ hearts as their eyes meet within the trawls of love, the calming of the wild mind in recognizing familiarity between themselves and a complete stranger. Moments of deep connection, the meaningful crossroads we find ourselves on when we realize that, in these few seconds that we are not alone.

Let’s talk small talk. Eliminate small talk as the main conversation point. Small talk should be the salt and pepper or the appetizer, not the main meal.

We’ve all had those conversation. They last anywhere from 5-30 minutes, and, as you walk away, you have an uncomfortable feeling, “We’ll I’m not getting that time back…” Sometimes this happens to us, sometimes we happen to do this to others. Now, I’m not saying small talk is unimportant; I’m just saying that small talk tends to be very meaningless in nature. So, how do we combat this? We utilize small talk to get to a deeper conversation point later on in the conversation as well as sprinkle it throughout our conversation so as to not be overly serious. (That last part is totally optional.)

So, you can lead out a conversation with small talk, but don’t make it the meat of what you want to talk about. Go deeper and find out more about the more authentic side of that person as well as expand on subjects you find interesting about them.

Create a safe environment.

When talking about deeper and more personal matters in a conversation it is incredibly important to create a safe environment. That includes and is not limited to:

  1. Mindset: Make sure they know that you are not going to take advantage or share the information
  2. Location: Make sure that the conversation is for you two and you two alone
  3. Active Listening: When they start to share, shut up and listen, not just with your ears, but with your heart
  4. Reinforce: It is typical when people start to talk about deeper parts of their humanity that there might be some insecurity that comes out. Reinforce that you are earnestly interested.
  5. No Agenda: You can do with or without the information. You are honestly and 100% interested in learning more about this person without self gain.

Ask deep questions and listen without interrupting.

Ask the questions that truly matter. To go deep, you have to ask the deep questions. Questions that bring out the rawer and more real sides of their humanity. This is not the time for you to ask yes or no questions; now’s the time for the more, sophisticated and personal questions.

Now, once you’ve asked the question, you have one job: listen. Listen like you’ve never listened before and do not interupt.

Invite the person to go deeper with that thought.

Once that person has shared a part of themselves, if you are listening, you will notice points that you can ask further questions on or ask them to expand on. I want you to adapt the art of going deeper in conversation when you choose to. A great question (and one of my go-to’s) is, “How did that make you feel?” or “Why did that mean so much to you?” Shoot, I guess that was two questions… Those are just a couple of mine, but please be creative. There are things that you find interesting and want to know more about, and, in the moment you will know, so expand on those! And, remember, it is more of an invitation, not a demand. You don’t want to make them feel like they owe you something, but rather that you are interested in deepen the conversation.

People only want to connect as deeply as you are willing to reciprocate.

Connection is a two way street. If you want to connect deeply with someone you have to be equally willing to share. This might be hard at first, but you will notice the more deeply you share with others, the easier it becomes and more natural. This will make you a more open person. Now, I understand that this type of mentality isn’t for everyone. That is okay. But, I want this to be a conscious choice that you can make rather than a happenstance of circumstance. I want you to feel like you can connect deeply when you choose to. So let a monologue turn into a dialogue and share a deeper part of yourself! (Just make sure to be honest and not try to one-up them.)

Once they’ve shared their deeper thoughts, be respectful and do not share.

So, someone has opened up their heart and shared some of their world with you. What they shared with you is probably very personal or private, so don’t share it. I personally treat those moments given to me as a gift, and, to show how much I appreciate that they shared their deeper thoughts, I respect their privacy.

Deep and well developed connections add value to your life. Open yourself up to them more often.

Connection is a very human thing. Heck, it’s a basic human desire. The beauty of connection, when it is true and honest, is that it benefits two people: yourself and the other person! So, here’s the actionable part of this blog: go out and open yourself to a deeper connection today. At first, allow yourself to open up to a friend. Maybe something is on your mind that you haven’t truly discussed. Or something that you’ve always wanted to share. Go out, and do it!

It will feel weird at first, but, afterwards, you’ll be glad you did. And, as you open yourself up to deeper and more meaningful connections, you’ll notice that it becomes easier and easier. And, maybe, just maybe, you’ll experience a more colorful world and more enriching connections.

Austin Hunt

Meet the Author:
Austin Hunt

Austin is the lead writer and creator of Points of Connection. He's been studying dating, relationships, and how to build authentic intimacy for over 9 years now. You can find him sipping away at a cup of coffee at a local shop making friends with the stranger next to him.

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