How to Connect with Others

One hand reaching out to another for help

We are inherently social beings, and feeling emotionally connected with another is one of the great joys in life. Yet, all too often, we feel lonely around another or others, wanting to connect and not knowing how. We may have learned numerous dysfunctional or unsatisfying ways of connecting, and wonder why we still feel lonely around someone when we are trying so hard to connect.

Emotional connection is an experience of the heart, not of the head. While you may feel a certain kind of connection when you are in your head, this form of connection may leave you feeling unsatisfied.

Do you try to create connection by:

  • Gossiping
  • Storytelling about things that don’t relate to the person you are talking to
  • Going on and on about yourself
  • Discussing details about mundane subjects
  • Discussing superficial topics, such as the weather
  • Complaining, whining
  • Attacking, blaming
  • Interrogating – asking combative questions
  • Pulling for attention in various other ways

Satisfying emotional connection occurs when you talk and act from your heart, such as when you:

  • Listen attentively and empathically
  • Ask kind questions about meaningful things
  • Speak your truth from your heart
  • Let the other in on your learning and healing process
  • Share in a creative process
  • Do fun things together, laugh together
  • Do kind and caring things for each other
  • Want to understand, when things may be difficult between you and another person – stay open to learning with them, even when it is challenging
  • Support each other in things that are important to each of you
  • Experience joy for another’s joy and pain for their pain
  • Show caring for the other’s feelings
  • Care about how your words and behavior affect the other person

I find that I can engage in many of these behaviors even in more casual encounters, such as when I’m at a social gathering. There is a huge difference for me between talking about the weather or complaining about something, and being truly interested in another person. Being aware of whether I’m coming from my head or my heart is what makes all the difference between a superficial connection and a meaningful connection.

I grew up hearing, “Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve.” The message was, “Protect yourself from getting hurt, by staying in your head. If you share your heart with people, you will get hurt.” I learned this lesson so well that I ended up being completely disconnected from my body and my feelings, wondering why I could never feel connected with anyone.

Staying in my head disconnected me from my own heart and soul, and disconnected me from others’ hearts and souls. In order to reconnect with myself and my own truth and feelings, and feel the joy of connection with others, I needed to be willing to feel the deep loneliness of disconnection – which I had staved off my whole life. I also needed to be willing to feel the loneliness and heartache of experiencing others’ unwillingness to come from their open hearts.

I’d far rather experience the loneliness and heartache of experiencing others not connecting with me, than the emptiness and aloneness of my own disconnection from myself. It’s only in staying connected with my own feelings that I can experience the joy of connection with another, when that person is open hearted. The joy of connection with another is so fulfilling that I’m willing to risk getting hurt if they are closed to connection with me. The joy far outweighs the pain that might occur, when I come from my heart rather than my head.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to discover real love and intimacy? Click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer, and visit our website at for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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