Creating a Deeper Connection

Vulnerability. Brené Brown defines it as, “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure” and “the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, and creativity.” She also admits that is it terrifying in practice! Right now we are physically distanced from the ones we love and we are all feeling the heaviness of this. Now more than ever we are engaging in video chats and phone calls in efforts to stay connected to our community. On these calls many of us are working hard to put our best foot forward in order to instill hope and positivity. We need this right now. With one caution, if we only present our best selves, we can unintentionally promote a culture wherein we cannot be honest about tough days which can create isolation, feelings of inadequacy, and harsh thoughts in our minds. We can feel even more alone. And yet when we take a chance and share something about our experiences, we invite the other person to feel comforted and say, “me too.” This common humanity allows us to connect to each other and we need that more than ever right now.

This issue about community is the perfect time to present two challenges to the community that centre on being vulnerable and allowing ourselves to see and be seen with others.

Challenge number one. I love this video of a woman asking people how they are doing, really. Watch and then be inspired to take a chance and tell someone you trust how you are really doing. Resist the urge to say fine or good or put on a brave face. Be honest and share your thoughts, feelings, and/or insights. In return ask how they are really doing and then sit back and truly listen.

Challenge number two. This challenge is called the “Banana Challenge” and it was born out of two separate circumstances in my life where the word “banana” is used when one person needs a break from the conversation. As my Zoom meetings grew and I became exhausted talking about COVID-19 I decided to up the ante on banana with a creative game. I organized a meeting and asked each friend to bring a few questions to ask the group. To get things started I sent a few examples from questions books written by Evelyn Mcfarlane and James Saywell. Examples included:

            What is the biggest surprise you have ever had?

            In what situation would you most like to be invisible in?

            What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?

            What is the best date you have ever been on?

            If you could select a role model for each of your kids who would you pick, and why?

            If you could suddenly be irresistibly charming for one day only, what would you do?

This challenge has dual purposes, one it allows you to learn interesting facts about your friends and family, and two it will promote conversations about more than the news of the day. When you plan a phone or video call prepare a list of questions ahead of time to ask and ask your friends to do the same. You might be surprised what you do not know about the people you are close to. To help generate a list and get this challenge started I encourage you to share a creative question to the Fernie Fix facebook or instagram feed. Let’s get to know each other better, Fernie!

The content provided in this article is for information purposes only. It is not meant as a substitute for professional medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you find yourself in distress, please reach out to your local physician who can provide mental health resources in your community.