This week is Valentine’s Day, and while it’s a day to celebrate romantic love, it can also be an opportunity to reflect on the various types of connections that enrich our lives. Whether we are connecting with family members, close friends, co-workers or those we serve, connection and community are some of the most important elements in life. It not only helps us form meaningful relationships but it can also help us grow in understanding and depth. In this blog post, we will look at how connection and community, and ultimately storytelling can enhance our lives.
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Connection and Community Building
Connection is key to all relationships including those with family members, colleagues and those we serve. It often starts with simply having something in common – a shared experience that allows us to build trust and understanding. From there, deeper connections can form which leads to more meaningful conversations and a greater sense of community.
Storytelling as Tool
One way to nurture these connections is through storytelling. We all have stories to tell – some funny, some heartbreaking – but all stories provide insight into who we are as individuals and create bonds between people that might not otherwise exist. Stories allow us to connect on a deeper level by providing an avenue for openness and vulnerability which is essential for any kind of relationship building. They remind us that although we may come from different backgrounds or experiences, at the end of the day we all share similar struggles and triumphs which provides comfort in knowing that you are never alone in your journey.
Start meaningful Conversations with Storytelling
Storytelling can also be used to engage others in meaningful conversations about topics such as diversity & inclusion or mental health & wellness. Through these conversations we can gain insight into each other’s perspectives while learning new ways to support each other through difficult times. This makes for a stronger sense of community as everyone feels heard and understood despite their differences.
Essential Tools for Connection and Community
Connection, community building and storytelling are essential tools for creating meaningful relationships with those around us. By taking the time to listen carefully to each other’s stories — both funny and heartbreaking –we can better understand each other’s experiences while forming strong bonds based on empathy and understanding. Taking the time to foster these connections will lead to healthier relationships with our family members, colleagues or those we serve which ultimately leads to a happier life overall! 🤗
It’s a wonderful thing how different, but fulfilling, various types of connection can be. I always find it amazing how our connections occur – sometimes it’s simply having one thing in common. It’s in our shared experiences, often, that we grow in connection.
With that in mind, I’ve provided you with some resources below to help you engage those in your life in this theme of connection and shared memories or experiences. I hope you all find them enjoyable!
Things to read, listen to, or watch
- Read – How to Share a Childhood Memory You Love or Love to Hate
- Watch – How to help residents reconnect with family
- Listen to – Storytelling with the people you love
A Resource to Check Out – First Date Activity Kit
This activity kit includes a few ways to tell stories and First Date-inspired prompts. The kit is perfect for your next date, the residents in your care, friends, or family 😍 You will find everything you need to have a fun-filled storytelling session or date. It can also be used as a get-to-know-you activity for just about any grouping of people.
Storytelling Activity I’m Loving
I’ve found that one of the best ways to connect with someone is finding something in common from our past. There is something nostalgic and that connects us when we think about things we used to do and someone else commiserates! It’s wonderful to learn that someone else enjoyed the same game, movie, show, music, or experience, isn’t it?
To bring yourself (or others) closer in connection, try asking them these prompts to find something in common:
- What was your favorite thing to do as a child?
- How did you start doing/learn this activity?
- What is one of your favorite memories?
- Did you have a favorite music group when you were growing up? What about now?
- What was your favorite TV show or movie?
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
Hopefully one or more of these prompts will take you down a path of new stories, memories, and connection points!