The importance of social connection in a time of isolation

Social isolation has become a defining feature of modern Western societies and there’s a growing concern about its effects

The importance of social connection in a time of isolationWhen people look back at this pandemic, they will remember many things, but perhaps most of all they will recall the changes in social behaviour. There’s the obsessive washing of hands, not touching our face, forgoing handshakes, hoarding toilet paper, wearing masks, working from home and, of course, social distancing – or, more accurately, physical…

Why you don’t believe me when I say “I’m listening”

If you have to choose between what I’m saying and how I look while saying it, you will intuitively discount my words and believe what you see

Why you don’t believe me when I say “I’m listening”If I am dropping eye contact or checking texts messages or rotating my shoulders while you are speaking, you don’t feel heard – even if I tell you I’m listening and can repeat every word you just said. Here’s why . . . Most explanations of human behaviour assume that people are strongly influenced by…

Staying connected and building spirit in isolation

We’re living proof that people are naturally active and creative, when given the time. COVID-19 has given many of us that time

Staying connected and building spirit in isolationThe COVID-19 crisis has been a challenge for many of us. We’re used to interacting freely and going where we want to go. Now many of us are forced to work from home and others are not able to work at all. Our movement is limited, we have to practise social distancing and we’re constantly…

We need physical distance, not social distance 

Don’t let physical distancing make loneliness worse. Here are three tips to reduce isolation and increase connection

We need physical distance, not social distance The message is simple: Work from home, don’t meet in person – or if you must get together, keep your social distance! But as we increase our efforts to fend off the spread of COVID-19, we need to watch that we aren’t worsening another threat to public health: loneliness. The ‘loneliness epidemic’ has seen rates…

Facebook groups keep us connected during pandemic

Facebook groups are a great way to stay connected, interact with each other and offer support wherever needed

Facebook groups keep us connected during pandemicWe’re in unprecedented times. We need connection now more than ever, but we also need to stay two metres back. And as more and more information about the COVID-19 pandemic is released, it seems like this might be the way we have to do things for a while. But how do we stay connected to…

Horribly haywire: why communication falters

None of us are at our best when our boundaries are being pushed

Horribly haywire: why communication faltersWe've all heard the nursery rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” But we know better. In fact, we know all too well that words can hurt and so does the interpretation of our nonverbal behaviours (like not paying attention, interrupting or day dreaming when someone is speaking).…

How to move on from hurt feelings and bad situations

You have every right to choose a new path, but make sure you're not overreacting based on your own insecurity or a misinterpretation of the situation

How to move on from hurt feelings and bad situationsThere are infinite ways our feelings get hurt – and a few clear ways to deal with such circumstances. Perhaps someone expressed a thought unkindly. You found yourself reacting to a perceived slight. Maybe you spent a good deal of time working on a project only to have your name missed when the recognition was…

Technology has proven itself to be a double-edged sword

Just as technology can bring us together, it can also separate us

Technology has proven itself to be a double-edged swordCommunication technology has come a long way in a relatively short time. In my lifetime, we have moved from twice daily mail delivery and phones that required the services of an operator to connect callers, to the instantaneous communication of smart phones and text messaging. At the click of a mouse, we can “join the…

Learning how to be a good friend

Human relationships are complex. But there are some simple principles you can follow to build solid friendships

Learning how to be a good friendEverybody wants to have friends. Growing up, I often heard, “If you want to have friends, you have to be a friend.” To me, that statement always left more questions than answers. I was recently reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey with my students and I came upon the best…

Teach kindness and relationships will grow

Yes, it’s important to teach the core subjects. But the most important thing to teach is kindness

Teach kindness and relationships will growFeminist writer Emma Goldman said, “No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.” No more challenging words have ever been written for educators. The relationships that educators have with students is…