By Nadine Briggs and Donna Shea
Making meaningful connections is critical to developing friendship with others. The conversation must go beyond the initial greeting. Most of the kids, teens and young adults we work with don’t know what to say after “hey, what’s up” has been said. They don’t necessarily know how to react when a friend tells them something that is important or exciting to them. Case in point, when I (Nadine) shared something that I thought was exciting with various social groups. It went something like this.
“Hey guys! Check out what happened to me today!”
How do you think they reacted? They didn’t, so I went on.
“I saw a bobcat in my backyard this morning! I have video of it peeing in my garden!”
Guess what? Still no response. Not one person asked to see the video of the bobcat in my garden.
The reaction should have been something like “Oh my gosh! Seriously? Can I see the video?!” but that is not what any of them did. Clearly this set up the main point for what I wanted them to understand. Even if you truly don’t care what is exciting to someone else, you should engage with that person. Share in their excitement and ask questions to show that you are engaged in their lives. It doesn’t matter if you care about the bobcat, but it does matter that you show you care that it matters to them.