Relationships are hard: how to connect with others

8 Sep, 2020

If you’re human (the chances are pretty high if you’re reading this), then every now and then, you’ll have chances to connect deeply with others. So when the time comes, how do we do that well?

The good news is, no matter the type of relationship, there are skills you can work on that will help you become someone others want to open up to and be honest with. Next time you’re connecting one-on-one with someone, focus on the following:


Provide a warm, open, and safe space that encourages disclosure and personal exploration by the other person. Attending is being aware of your eye contact, body language, posture and proximity —the physical space you create for your meeting. 


Repeat back in your own words what you’ve heard to check if you’ve understood the other person correctly. This will help provide support and sharpen indirect or imprecise communication. Restating enables the person to digest what they’ve said, and it keeps the focus on them. 

Reflecting Feelings

Focus not only on the content but the emotion in what they say and spend a moment reflecting on feelings. Allow the emotion to surface, give permission, create space. By naming the emotion or feeling, the door may be opened for further expression or exploration, and the other person will know they are heard and understood beyond the level of words.

These listening and interpersonal skills are something that all CAP Debt Coaches put into practice when they visit clients. Not only are these incredible volunteers there to gather information necessary for debt help, but to be a much needed listening ear and friend.

Want to put some of this into practice and help your local community? Find out more here.