Relating Well: The True Meaning of Connection with Stephanie Michele


In This Episode…

  • Recognizing social anxiety as it relates to online communications
  • Why Stephanie thinks of her phone as an Outcome Addiction Device
  • Setting standards and expectations for texting and other communication scenarios in your relationships
  • How to handle awkward, vulnerable communication
  • How to have a “before it gets weird” conversation when someone’s behavior triggers negative emotions

Ways to Listen to this Episode:

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Key Points

1 in 3 Americans have social anxiety because of all the information and marketing that is coming at us every day, and becoming “addicted” to our phones, social media, etc.  Society may tell us that this is the trend, or that it’s normal, but we have to recognize when something does not feel right, and acknowledge if we have a problem with it.

Sometimes we can worry too much, have pain in our bodies, lose sleep over these things, stay on Netflix or Youtube too late, or get abnormally triggered by a text or post we read. We should not ignore these symptoms.  Be honest if you’re feeling disconnected and isolate from folks.

It’s inappropriate to text certain types of news and information, like deaths in the family, break-ups, and deep conversations– call the person instead.

Know what makes you happy and have a gratitude practice, and be able to share what you’re grateful for. If you’re uplifting and positive, others will want to be around you.

Part of the problem is too much “fast-food” relating instead of feel-good relating. Debating is not relating; relating is back-and-forth questions and sharing.

Grace is the influence of spirit working through people to strengthen them, raise them up and inspire them.

We are hard-wired for connection.

What You Can Do

Asking to meet with a friend and admitting your need for connection is vulnerable and could possibly lead to rejection, but it far outways the discomfort when you do connect with someone you care about.

If you’re dating, set standards for how you want to be treated and behavior you won’t tolerate, and make sure your date is aware of them up front.

If someone violates your communication standards, you get to set it straight and relay (or reiterate) your standards to them. It’s your responsibility to let them know your expectations of contact if you want better communication between you and that person.

There’s this fear of the awkwardness and vulnerability. But instead of looking at awkwardness and vulnerability as weakness, practice it, and you will become stronger and more courageous.

When in doubt, ask. Be curious. Practice curiosity by asking questions of people when you’re out and about.

For a social media scenario, when in doubt, play it out. Ask yourself how that same scenario would work in person. And if it wouldn’t go well in person, don’t do it online either.

Invite someone to have a one-on-one, in-person experience with you, like going out for coffee.

If a behavior makes you uncomfortable or bothers you, think about why, and then find a way to communicate to that person to explain that. Stephanie calls this “A before it gets weird” conversation.

Instead of asking people, “What do you do?,” ask them what they’re passionate about. You’ll have a better conversation, because many people are passionate about things that may not be the same as their current job title.

Focus on intentional experiences and state them. “Can we go bowling?” “I want to ___________ with you.” Get specific. Then reciprocate: “Is there anything you want to do with me?” Stephanie lives in a high-rise and some of her neighbors gather with her for Sunday dinners, which has been great way to get to know each other, connect, and build community.

Be willing to give yourself grace when you need it.

Connect with My Guest

Stephanie Michele, Certified Behavioral Analyst, Certified N.L.P. Practitioner, Founder of “No Text or Next”




Links and Resources

SocialBling (Stephanie’s company)

The RELATABLE show on LA Talk Radio LIVE Tuesdays at 11 am PST show archives on YouTube or iTunes

Stephanie’s Public Shared Experience Events (PSEs)

Cultivating more gratitude

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