It really feels good to be connected with friends, family, community. And these past six months have been a challenge, even for an introvert like me.
We’ve had to be creative to stay connected. It’s been great to be able to “visit” with friends while walking socially distant or during outdoor dinners 6-feet apart. But as the days grow shorter and the temperature drops, I worry again about feelings of isolation and disconnection.
We humans are social animals and we need and love connection. Feeling connected makes us less likely to experience sadness, loneliness, low self-esteem and even problems with sleeping. So how can we stay connected?
Yes, you can put on warmer clothes and make sure to get out before dusk with a friend (and I am determined to do so). What other ideas do you have?
Sure you could text or even call (and I do both), but what if you want to connect on a deeper level?
Have you ever considered writing letters as a way to stay in (and build) connection?
Don’t underestimate your power to make a difference in the life of someone else. We all are craving genuine human connection now more than ever.
But why a letter?
Sometimes people are not ready to talk or absorb what you’re saying, a letter gives them time to figure out when they’re ready. And they can read the letter again and feel your love and support over and over.
Letters are an amazing way to share gratitude and deepen connections with friends, family, colleagues, mentors and people who have shown you kindness. They’re perfect to share empathy or remind the reader of their resilience during a struggle.
Think back on a time you received an actual letter. How’d it feel to open the envelope and read what your friend or relative wrote? Did they offer support, recall fun or meaningful times together, catch you up on a project they’re working on, tell you why they love you?
Recall the feelings you felt opening, reading and taking in their letter. If you’re like me, those feelings are warm, positive and feel like a hug. How’d you like to make someone else feel that way?
THERE’S AN ART TO WRITING A LETTER THAT CONNECTS – BUT YOU ALREADY KNOW HOW TO DO IT!
You, as a human, are a natural storyteller, and letters are all about stories. Sharing what you want to say through story makes the point in a way that can be felt and heard.
Are you willing to give it a try?
Here are some simple steps:
- Ask: How do I want my reader to feel (loved, seen, appreciated, cared for …)?
- Recall the way the person made you feel through a thoughtful gift or kind actions or their friendship.
- Think through why the person matters to you and what stories from your shared experience will help you say that.
- Write your letter using stories that show how you want to make them feel
Go ahead, try it out. I bet you’ll feel more connected to your reader as a result.
Recently I received a letter from a client who participated in one of my letter writing workshops. She told me she signed up with no real expectation other than curiosity, but learning how to write stories and turn them into letters has allowed her to reconnect with old friends and with her first mentor who set her on her road to career success. It was a joyful letter celebrating connection with people who matter to her. Her letter made me smile.
Want some step-by-step help writing letters right now? Grab my Deepening Connections eBook.