“You can only show love to people the way that you show love to yourself.”
Feeling like you want to be seen and heard authentically in your life? With such a go, go, go society, you may be eager to slow down and learn how to create deeper connections for yourself and others. If that’s you, you’re going to love this episode.
In today’s “CREATING CONNECTION” episode, you’ll learn how to create deeper connections for yourself and others.
TODAY WE’RE COVERING:
- What needs to happen FIRST before showing love to others, so that you can create the biggest connection
- A great book to read if you want to learn how to find emotionally healthy people
- How the different levels of listening are the key to a deeper level of connection
- How to ask the best questions so that you can connect with people in a meaningful way
- How to end a connecting moment with someone so that you can build deeper relationships
And so much more.
Let’s dive in! Listen to this episode at the top of the page.
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
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→ Get The 4-Day Accomplish Your Dreams Free Training
Episode 28: CREATING CONNECTION
This is the Become an Unstoppable Woman podcast with Lindsay Preston Episode 28, Creating Connection.
Welcome to the Become an Unstoppable Woman podcast, the show for goal-getting, fear-facing women for kicking ass by creating change. I’m your host, Lindsay Preston. I’m a wife, mom of two, and a multi-certified life coach to women all over the world. I’ve lived through enough in life to know that easier doesn’t always equate to better. We can’t fear the fire, we must learn to become it. On this show, I’ll teach you how to do just that. Join me as I challenge you to become even more of the strong, resilient, and powerful woman you were meant to be. Let’s do this.
Hey there miss unstoppable. Thanks for tuning into another episode of the show. I’m always so grateful to be in your listening ears for this time. I know you have many choices and I don’t take it lightly that you’re choosing me to help you in your life so thank you. Before we get started and talking about creating connection, which I am so excited to share with you all of my tips about this, just want to give a quick shout out to everyone leaving a review for the show.
I so appreciate you especially for listening on Apple podcasts. If you’re listening on another player, I encourage you to go to my Facebook page. You can just find me over on Facebook under Lindsay. L-I-N-D-S-A-Y Preston, and leave a review there. I would be so grateful. Now, another thing I want to mention really quickly is you may not have heard our fancy outro yet but if you have, you know that I have a free community. In that free community, we talk even more about these podcast episodes. You can ask me questions directly in a DM.
You can pose something to the group to answer questions. You can get just things I share in that group and it’s not on Facebook. We’ve actually gone to another app. You get the ultimate privacy. If you’re not on Facebook, like many of my clients and listeners are, you can just download that app. You’ll just go to Lindsay, L-I-N-D-S-A-Y epreston.com/ slash community to get that link to sign up and get that app and jump in there and start asking questions and participating. You can also share things like your wins in there. We’d love to celebrate you.
It’s very rare to find a space where you can be celebrated in such a way of sharing positive things in your life, as well as sharing your struggles. I’d love to have you. Okay, let’s talk about today’s topic, creating connection. Now, this episode is going live. In the very beginning few days of February 2020. For me, I’m always thinking about love this month just because of Valentine’s day. I’m actually somebody who loves Valentine’s Day and it doesn’t matter if I have a romantic partner or not.
I love it because I think about, “Okay, how can I cultivate more love in myself and in my life regardless of what relationships I have.” Luckily now I’m happily married. I’m focusing on that way but if you’re single right now, you can always find ways to create connection in your life with yourself and with other loved ones. Today the tips I’m going to give you are going to allow you to apply them in all areas of your life. Like I said, yourself, other relationships. Be it friends, work relationships, family, nieces, nephews, whatever.
Then of course, if you are with somebody as well. Now, I must admit that I’ve mentioned on other episodes I’m doing some relationship coaching right now with my husband. It just opened so much awareness for me of ways I can continue to grow and how I love him and love myself that I was not aware of before. It’s kicked my butt in a lot of ways, there was a part of me that said aren’t you more evolved than this? How is this so eye-opening to you? I’ve had to really, of course, work on diminishing that negative voice.
It just reminds me, we’re all growing all the time and we’re always building new awareness and new ways to help ourselves and help others. Today it’s a little bit awkward for me I must admit because I feel like there are ways that I can grow in this area of my life of creating connection because now I see how I’m hindering myself. I’ve had to put it in the perspective of, “This is something that I’m really good at as well.” I talk about an assessment called the Clifton Strengths formerly known as a strengths finder often here on the show.
Connectedness is my number one strength. Connectedness is basically saying like, “I am really good at seeing connection and creating connection.” I’ve had to tell myself, “Okay, yes, you have room to grow Lindsey but you’re also very, very good at this.” It’s so funny because I really contemplated recording this episode for those or for a few days. Because like I said, that negative voice was beating me up about, “Well, who are you to teach something like this?” Then I went to a birthday party for my daughter, and I ended up getting in a conversation with one of the moms there that I hadn’t really talked to that much.
She shared with me just some things that her family had gone through. It was almost like we had created this bubble in essence during that really loud and crazy birthday party at a skating rink where it was just me and her. I was listening to her story and I was holding space for her. I’ll tell you what holding space means here in a bit and listening to her and showing empathy for her and connection. It really was a magical moment. I left that moment and I thought, “See, this is why I can do an episode like this one because I am really good at this.”
Yes, I’m bragging about that because not only is it something I’m naturally good at but it’s something I have really learned how to get even better at. As I said, I’m continuing to get better at so wherever you are in your connection journey, hopefully, today’s tips will help you take it to the next level. Let’s get started. I have a lot I want to cover with you. The very first thing I have to say here is it’s very important that no matter what relationship or relationships you’re wanting to create and cultivate connection in, that you have safety and trust in that relationship.
Safety and trust is something that is really in the eye of the beholder. For example, there is a little girl at my daughter’s school who is having some trouble connecting with her peers. Part of that is she’s gone through some really hard things. She doesn’t trust as easily as maybe other kids do. For her, when she’s seeing like my daughter and my daughter’s group of friends, she doesn’t feel safety and security and doesn’t feel like there’s trust there because of her past pain. When the reality is, is most, if not all of those kids are safe people.
There are people that she can trust but because of how she’s been hurt in the past, her perspective is, “I don’t know if I can trust these people.”
Keep that in mind is that sometimes the truth is that is not a safe person to share things with. Sometimes it may just be your past crap that you haven’t dealt with that’s causing that in the future. I’m sure we’ve all met people that we’ve dated, who they’re just really jealous and maybe a little possessive. The reality is you’re not that kind of person for them to be jealous, possessive with but because of past pains they’re like that.
Makes sense? Hope so. That is just the basic level of what you’re needing in a relationship for you to create connection. This goes back to Maslow’s triangle, which is a big psychological theory out there that we have to meet certain needs in the bottom half of that triangle, like getting food and water and having safety and security before we can create things like love and belonging. Now, of course, that’s just a theory out there. You’re going to hear on a future podcast episode with one of my guests who doesn’t really believe in the Maslow’s triangle.
She talks about that. Look forward to that, but I’m a big believer in it. I think it’s something I’ve seen time and time again with myself and with my clients. Granted, that’s not some psychological study but in my perspective, I see that unless you have that safety and security with somebody, it’s just going to be really hard to create love and belonging. I saw this in my former marriage. I kept trying to really connect with him and grow our love and our marriage. I say “marriage” because it was a common-law marriage, but yes.
It was just very, very hard to create that because I always felt there’s something off in this relationship. I can’t fully trust him. That wasn’t necessarily because of past pain that was coming into that relationship. It was my intuition screaming at me. Oh my gosh, he’s not a trustworthy person. If you’ve heard that story he was living a double life with another woman and all that jazz. Keep that in mind. If you don’t have safety and security in that relationship, either look at yourself and say, “What do I need to clean up because there’s nothing logically here saying I can’t trust this person?” Or start to dig deeper and say, “What is it about this person that I can’t trust at a deeper level?” They may have hurt you in the past. They may have done things to you and that shows you maybe they don’t need to be somebody who goes in deeper with you. I heard a podcast once.
I think it was from Dr. Lisa Bobbie who I did some pre-marital coaching with, with my husband way back in the day but she gave the analogy of relationships are like a house. Some relationships we keep on the front porch and some relationships, we allow them to come into our kitchen. Some relationships we take to the bedroom. You have to decide for yourself where certain people are in your house and where you’re going to take them. Her big thing was, obviously the only relationship we’re taking into the bedroom is our partner.
Maybe with very close friends in our kitchen or living room, whatever, and then certain people we keep on the front porch or some people we tell them not to get on our property. For you, you need to decide is this as far as I can take this person. I know in my life, there have been times when I’ve really wanted to grow a relationship and get closer to that person. There were many friendships like this even adult friendships where I was like, “Oh my gosh, I love her so much. I want her to be one of my best friends.” We would do things together.
I just love spending time with her. Then there were just behaviors that that person did that just kept showing me that she couldn’t handle to be in my living room. She needed to be somebody who was out on my front porch because it wasn’t a safe relationship for certain reasons. Be it trust or her own emotional instability and various other things. Keep that in mind. Just something to think about. There is a really great book out there. If you’re really questioning about people, if they’re safe or not because a lot of times when we grow up in environments and our parents weren’t safe, we don’t even know what safe people are.
We recreate that in our relationships because we’re just used to that. I’m raising my hand here because that was me. That book and I think it’s by Townsend and Cloud. That book really helps me start to understand, “Okay, these are safe relationships and these are ones that are toxic.” Just something to think about. Now, if you are in a relationship with somebody and you feel safe and secure with that person, you feel like you can trust them. Then let’s talk about how to create more connection with them. The first thing is, it’s really important for you to know yourself and love yourself deeply.
There’s a quote out there and I don’t know who says it but it’s something along the lines of, “You can only show love to people the way that you show love to yourself”, because that’s the depth that you have taken love. I completely believe in this because when I didn’t love myself as much, I couldn’t show that to somebody else. When I started coaching as a client and I started taking things like self-care and learning who I was and healing my past pain and learning about that negative inner voice and how to separate that out and manage that so it doesn’t spew out on other people.
Instead, show up in a way that feels authentic and good to me without being a people pleaser. Then I was able to show love in such a deeper way. I really encourage you. If you are somebody who just feels like you’re hitting a wall constantly with connection and you know you have room to grow with your confidence or self-love, whatever you want to call it. Then look at coaching with me. I would love to coach you on this. This is what I do all day long, it’s help women understand themselves and love themselves and be able to then in essence, give that to their relationships around them.
If you’re interested in starting to coach with me, you already know, “Hey, I need to tap out of this episode and maybe go in that different direction.” Go take my free coaching assessment. It takes just a few minutes and then you know. Are we a good fit to start to work together? If we are, you’ll gain access to my calendar to book a free 45-minute discovery call with me so we can talk even more about your life and where you want to grow. That link is Lindsay. L-I-N-D-S-A-Y epreston.com/assessment to go take that.
Again just a few minutes and then you’ll know. We’ve done a little check system here. We’ve got the safety and security. If you feel like you have that, you feel like, “Hey, I’m pretty confident myself. I love myself. I know who I am. I feel like I’m showing up as my best self but for whatever reason, I’m not getting that in return.” Then it really is just some things to learn about how to create more connection. I will say, you can start to implement these tools now, too. Even if you don’t have things like safety and security and loving yourself, you’ll see benefits from it.
Will you see maximum benefit from it? No. You will not, but you’ll see little wins here and there and you’ll start to see these tools, how they can help you grow even more when you do have safety and security and love for yourself. The first tool I want to tell you about is listening. You may say, “Oh yes, Lindsay. I know you were going to say something like this.” There’s so many Bible verses about this. My daughter did one last week because she goes to a Christian school with something like, “Be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to anger.”
Something like that. I’m not a Bible expert. I’m sorry for all you out there who are screaming at the car or your phone or whatever. That’s this verse, but it was along those lines. That was something we learned very much in coach training when I became a life coach of the importance of listening, of course, but also the importance of listening on a deep level. We were taught different levels of listening. Level one was along the lines of just like, “Yes, yes. Okay. I hear you. I’m in the middle of something else and I’m not really thinking about what you’re telling me.”
Level two is you’re listening to what they’re saying but you’re really in your own head. You’re thinking about your own things or you’re thinking how you’re going to respond to that person, which is something very common for a lot of people. They’re just thinking how to respond without even listening. Then level three is you have cleared out your mind. You have no mental clutter going on and you were listening so deeply and so inherently you have an essence almost created like this bubble for that person. I shared about it earlier that that birthday party with that mom and you are listening to what they’re saying.
You’re noticing influxes in the way they’re seeing things. You have nothing of your own mind, drama, or whatever involved in that conversation. It’s so funny because if I go and I talk to another coach, be it just may be a friend to a friend and I can get this with therapist friends sometimes too. They are such amazing listeners. Amazing. Then I go into the “Real-world”, and I’m talking to people and it’s so weird to me when I feel like they’re not listening. I’m even cautious with my husband and my daughter all the time. I’ll say something.
Then a few minutes later, they’ll be like, “What’d you say?” Or I’ll ask them later something like, “Oh, you never told me that.” I’m like, “Yes, I did. You were only listening to me.”
It’s especially hard when you’re trying to open up and be emotional with somebody about something maybe that’s hard and you can tell they’re not really listening. Oh, that’s like a knife in my heart. Then I feel like they’re not safe. I close down and I have to do some mental work to not want to just back away from the situation.
I feel bad for that person that’s listening to me because I’m thinking, “Oh, I want to create a connection with you, but you don’t know how to listen in a really deep way to give me that and that’s blocking our connection with one another.” Whereas a lot of people tell me all the time, “Oh my gosh, I’ve never told anybody this, or I can’t believe I’m opening up to you, I barely know you, or I just love the way you make me feel when I’m around you.” That really goes back to because I know how to listen on a very deep level.
I wish this was a skill that was taught in schools of how people can listen to one another because it would provide so much healing and so much connection. I’m a big believer that connection creates healing. It would be such a benefit to our future generations for them to give this to one another. Think about in your marriage or your intimate partnership with somebody to be able to listen to them deeply and see them on a deep level, to see their soul in essence or their authentic self or whatever you want to call it is an incredible experience.
I get to experience it with my clients and I got to experience it with just random people. Like I said, that mom at the birthday party of seeing a deeper level of her that she hadn’t shown many people. That is just so fulfilling for not only them but for you as the receiver of that. Oh my goodness. It just feels so good. You feel like you’re doing something good in the world and you have a bigger purpose that you’re helping. It’s one of those things that I wish I could just give you a pill and you could feel because it feels so good.
Start to look up ways that you can listen on a deeper level. I won’t go into details here. You can just Google it if you really want more training on that, just go look up like levels of listening and see what pops up. I will say, you can sit there and intellectualize this all day long, and look up the different levels of listening, but it takes practice. That’s why when we’re on coach training, we had to practice coach another people time, and time, and time, and time again, and then have practice clients, and then build our practices slowly because it’s a skill that’s learned to be able to listen in that way.
On that note, another skill I learned in coach training that allows me to create a lot of connection with people is asking questions. When you are listening on that deep level, you’re not thinking about yourself, or your own mental drama. You’re just thinking about that person, and really treating that person like they are the most inspiring and interesting person in the world when you’re talking to them because really they are. I think about that every time I’m on a coaching session is, “This next hour, this person is my only priority.” And that’s the only thing I’m thinking about for that person and I tell myself they are the most interesting person in the world, and truly I really do feel that way.
It’s not inauthentic because I wouldn’t take on clients who I feel I can’t treat that way. When you’re creating that and giving that to somebody, it’s just very easy to listen on a deeper level. I always joke that somebody could easily kill me when I’m coaching because I usually have headphones on, and I’m so intently listening that someone could easily come up behind me and do horrible things. That’s what happens when you’re in your own world in that way of listening to somebody. Now, I was going to say that when you are listening that deep level, you are naturally curious too, and you want to know more about that person, and you want to know what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling. From there, you ask questions that start with a what or a how.
You’re saying, “Wow. What was the hardest part of that? How did that make you feel? What are you going to do next? How can I help you?” Things of that sort. It is going to again create so much connection with that person because not only have they felt like they were seen and heard from the way that you were listening, but that you are asking them questions from that what or how start. It doesn’t put them on a defense. When you ask a why question like, “Why did you do that? Why do you feel that way?” It puts somebody in a position of, “Oh, my gosh. There’s something wrong with us.”
Always start with those what or how questions, and let them explain to you what they need. I think a lot of times too we’re in this way of being where we always want to fix people’s problems for them. We are showing up, and we are giving advice a lot, and we are uncomfortable with their discomfort, and so we want to fix that problem in ourselves. Men are really, really bad at this because they– Feelings for most men feel uncomfortable. It’s just really important that we’re just listening. A big belief that I have, and I learned this again from coach training is people know where to go in their lives, and people know the answers for themselves.
Yes, we give them tools. Yes we may give them a little consulting here and there on how to use those tools, and that sort, and maybe we throw in some life principles that they could incorporate. The end of the day, they know who they are, they know where to go, and they know how to get there. They may just use your tools along the way to get them there. Giving advice is beneficial in some ways, yes, but I really want to encourage you to just ask questions. Again, what or how questions. I remember when I first started coaching, I had a list of questions that I put on a Word doc that were sort of what or how. Most of them at least, and I would have those out when I started coaching.
When they were talking, then I would look at my list of questions and say, “Oh, what makes you feel that way?” Then it just became very natural after a few sessions to do that, and so you maybe somebody who needs to do that. There are many things you could Google out there I’m sure to find what or how questions, different documents out there. I just happen to make my own. Again, ask those questions. Treat them like the most interesting person in the world. Don’t feel like you need to solve their problems, but again, just listen to them and show them that you care. Oh, my gosh. It’s going to make them feel incredible. I’m telling you. Take my word on this.
They will just think that you’re almost like this little angel that has come down, and provided that space for them. Then the last thing I want to say here on this episode about creating connection is, it’s really important that you end whatever connection moment you’ve had with somebody. wrap it up in a bow. I believe this is something that’s really important because– I don’t know about you, but I’ve had moments where I will feel connection with somebody, and maybe I tell them something that’s vulnerable, and then it kind of ends, and it’s a little awkward and I feel– Because when you share something vulnerable, it’s always like you’re exposing yourself in a way, right?
Like taking off your shirt or something. Then when it ends in an awkward way, it will start maybe some mind drama in my head. Of course, I know that’s on me. I really just want to tell you that when you’re ending connection with somebody, end it in a way where it feels complete and it feels like you’re safe. A way that you can do this is just ending with a hug and saying, “I’m so glad that you shared that with me. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.” Other ways you can say, “Did this help you today for you to be able to talk to me?” When I’m in a coaching session, the question I tend to ask is, “What are you walking away with from today? What are your aha’s? What are your takeaways?”
Now granted in other relationships, you may not do that, but I’m always ending on that. I’m always ending especially coaching calls with the very last few things I’m saying is something positive toward them of something along the lines of, “You got this. You can do this. Reach out if you need anything. I’m here to help you.” Truly meaning that. Don’t just be doing lip service, don’t be people pleasing them. Again, that’s why you need to work on your own crap too to create an amazing connection, and make sure you’re showing up in a certain way, and it’s not your own mind drama, but truly meaning that to them. It feels incredible.
I have mentioned earlier that my husband and I are going through this coaching as a couple. I’ve realized with him something that’s missing between us is him doing these sorts of things for me that I’m sharing in this podcast of listening to me deeply, asking questions. Just being somebody who I can vent to sometimes, versus just always turning to my journal or turning to my own life coach. Instead, relying on him, but I didn’t really know that those are just the little things that I needed. Him being a man, and a man who really likes to solve problems and create systems. Many times he’ll just go straight to, “Do this to change it, or do that to change it.” I’ve told him, “Hey, I just need you to listen. I just need you to maybe ask me a few questions to get more awareness. Then I would love it if at the end of it, you just gave me a hug and you held me for a little bit.”
Because that was something that I didn’t have growing up either. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it. It’s just so important to people. We have gotten in this society where we’re on the move all the time, we’re on our freaking devices, we’re go, go, go, go, go. At least that’s how I feel. When we can just slow down, and be with one human being that’s in front of us, and have a moment with them of connection, it is beautiful, and it is amazing, and it’s missing in our world. I just really want to encourage you that if you’re feeling lonely, or if you’re feeling like you’re not heard or not seen, just start trying to give that to somebody else, and do those things like listen, and ask questions, and end it with a really great way. I’m telling you, it will make such a difference.
It’ll seem like you’re doing so little because I know many people who listen to this podcast, they are like super women, and they’re doing and going, and trying to be so many things, and achieve so many things. Just slow down and create this for people. Not only is that person going to feel good, but you’re going to feel really good in the process as well to be able to do this for somebody. I will say it’s a learn skill, and it’s hard. It really takes you working on your own crap, and making sure that you clear out all your mental clutter. This is something that many of my clients walk away with after working with me through my three coaching processes.
I don’t know why I can’t talk. The first one is wife lover. Second one is become an unstoppable woman, which is the course version of this podcast, and then become authentically awesome. We work together the seven months. Then when they leave, they just have this calm about them most times, they have this presence, this way of being and they’re able to go out and create that connection. One of the biggest reasons why is because we’ve worked on their mind drama, of course, that’s the big one. But, two, I have shown them how to create connection with somebody. I have been a safe person for them, I have been somebody who has shown them unconditional love, which many people have not experienced in their lives ever.
I did not experience that until I had my own coach and she taught me how to go out and create that along with becoming a certified coach. You can do that and I’m telling you that is what is missing from a lot of people’s lives. It’s not necessarily, “I want to go create all these things or do all these things” because yes, those things are important. It is that they’re not feeling seen and heard, they’re not feeling like they are able to connect in an authentic way with another human being and they feel lonely. So, little pep talk for you there, my friend. Hopefully, you’re walking away with some good aha’s from today. I felt like this episode was a little bit here and there, all over the place, but one that I hope has sparked something in you to start to make a change be it learning how to listen, working on yourself, reading that safe people book, whatever it is. Thank you for joining me today on this episode. I so appreciate you as always and I look forward to connecting with you next time.
Hey there, Miss Unstoppable. Thanks so much for tuning into this episode. If you enjoyed it, share it with a friend. Send them a picture of this episode via text, via email, share it on social media, I’m sure they would be so appreciative to know these strategies and tips on how to accomplish your dreams. If you are ready to guarantee you’re going to accomplish your goals and dreams, then it’s time to start coaching with me.
In my nine-month simple success coaching system, I am going to walk you every single step of the way to ensure that you get the goals and dreams that you want. The first step is to apply for a free 60-minute consult call. Just go to LindsayEpreston.com/apply to get started. As always, my friend, remember, you’re only as unstoppable as you believe you can be, so believe in yourself. You got this.