• Patrick McAndrew

We Need Each Other A LOT Right Now

I recently read an article on Forbes titled “The Importance of Relationship Building in the Digital Age,” written by Michael Mirau.  In it, Mirau discusses how essential it is to build relationships and how e-mail, texting, and other technological apps and what nots are hindering our relationships.

Human relationships take time.  Human relationships take patience.  In the age of instant gratification, many of us don’t want to put in the time or patience that is required in the development of new relationships.  We would rather just friend each other on Facebook.  This is actually a great starting point, but if we are looking to build deeper relationships we should aim to nourish these relationships on a stronger level.

What I just said is kind of a paradox, you know.  I do believe that we want to build deeper relationships, but it often doesn’t seem that way.  Perhaps we don’t want to put in the effort it takes to build these relationships.  We would rather succumb to technological jargon.

I believe we do this unconsciously.  We don’t really think about it or internalize it much.  Many of us wonder why we feel so alone; it’s because we haven’t taken the time to develop real, trusting relationships.  I’m guilty of this as well.  Though I consider myself a people-person, I will usually follow the lead of another, deciding to talk about them and their interests rather than myself.  When people ask me questions about myself or my interests, I will definitely open up, but otherwise I will talk about what the other person wants to talk about.  I love talking to other people about their interests and their passions, but I’m often leave the encounter thinking, “That was great!  Though…I don’t know how much they really know about me. Oops…”  It’s a work in progress, my friends!

If we look back in time, we can see that we have gotten MUCH lazier when it comes to cultivating strong and meaningful relationships.  Just look at dating!  Many years ago, a couple may go on several dates before a kiss was exchanged.  And forget about all that other mumbo jumbo that all the kids are doing these days.  Romantic relationships took time, patience, and I suppose some willpower to a certain degree.

Nowadays?  Swipe right.  Match.  Badda-bing, Badda-boom, a baby is on the way.  Every parent’s dream.  While not all relationships start out this way, it has become a social norm to hook up on the regular with no strings attached.  No judgment up in ‘er, but I would argue that most don’t feel very whole and fulfilled after such encounters.

Business relationships aren’t much better.  I’ve discussed in past posts about toxic corporate culture and supervisors’ lack of empathy.  We know a business is really successful when the employees are happy and the supervisor actually cares about the well-being of their staff.  This is a rare commodity today, where many employees feel they need to be connected 24/7, which is very ridiculous.  Work/life balance?  No way!  It’s as if Work is an obese man who sat on top of a skinny, puny Life and didn’t even realize that a person was up their butt.  This is what many jobs look like now; we feel like our lives our lost in the buttcracks of our work.

Don’t even get me started on politics!

This is why cultivating deep, meaningful relationships is so important.  Whether it be romantically, in business, or anywhere else, the less we engage with things that don’t matter and more with each other, the happier and more successful we will all be.  Even just a smile at someone, whether a co-worker or stranger, can make all the difference.

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