How to Nurture Meaningful Relationships Virtually
Zoom, FaceTime, and social media usage have all skyrocketed since social distancing became a thing. For more than six months, we’ve all relied on technology to stay in touch with friends and family. While a click of a button can connect us to someone located halfway across the world, it takes more than a simple call to make those connections mean something.
As an introvert, I’ve always thought I could get away without many friends or meaningful relationships. As time goes by, I’ve realized that while I may not have many friends or people I truly rely on, I still have a handful of relationships I hold near and dear to my heart. Like with many things in life, it’s quality over quantity.
During these troubling times, making sure we nurture those relationships is essential for the wellbeing of ourselves and those we care about most, even if it means doing it virtually. Below are some tips to nurture meaningful relationships virtually.
We’ve all been on the receiving end of an ingenuine conversation. Those calls, text, or messages you receive only when someone needs something from you. It’s never fun. Instead of reaching out to someone only because you feel obligated to, stop yourself and ask why you’re doing it. If you’re not doing it because it’s what feels right in your gut, then don’t do it. Check-in on someone because you truly care.
Being present is essential to nurturing meaningful conversations both in person and virtually. There’s nothing worse than chatting with someone who is dividing their attention to three different things. Silence your phone, go into a room without distractions, and don’t be afraid to ask the other person to do the same. To foster better relationships, we have to do better.
Being present and actively listening go hand in hand. If you’re present during your conversation, you’re likely listening and following along. In turn, this makes for more genuine and organic relationships. Those that feel real and authentic. Remember, to cultivate a good response, you have to be able to listen in first.
Some of my best friendships have come from being vulnerable with each other. Whether it’s sharing fears, failures, or life challenges, it’s always easier to connect with someone who seems to be their true self. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to dump all your negative energy on the other person, but it does mean you might have to get a little uncomfortable to get to a better place in your relationship.
Part of nurturing a relationship virtually is taking the initiative to follow up on a previous conversation. Whether you’re checking in on a life-changing event or simply checking on their health, follow-ups are a great way to show you care. It also proves you were actively listening during your last conversation, which earns you bonus points in my eyes.