We humans innately crave deep connections with other. Somewhere along the way, we have grown further and further away from where those true connections lie. With the ever-growing social media world and technological means of communication, personal interaction has been on the decline, and when it does occur, we are more reserved with our emotions, afraid that being too eager for friendship might scare people away. Top that with immediate access to opinions on just about anything – from what to wear, what political party to follow, or what current food we should no longer eat, it’s difficult to take pause and remember what it means to be truly open. So afraid of being judged ourselves, we begin to conceal characteristics that we feel won’t be accepted by those around us.  When we find ourselves masking who we are to please others, we become exhausted by our relationships instead of edified by them.

So, what are some ways that we can break out of the norm of reserving our affections and become people who are known for loving without holding back?

Below, we’ve compiled a list of our personal favorites, but of course there are many more, and we encourage you to discover what works best for you as a way to connect with those around you on a genuine level.

  • Be yourself – This is often touted as a tagline, but loving without holding back means also not holding back the reality of who you are.  In order to love someone, the other person needs to experience the entirety of the one they’re loving, both the good and the bad.  And there’s no better way to encourage someone to uncover her true self than by taking the first leap ourselves.  So let the people around you see who you truly are – quirks and imperfections and all.

  • Embrace spontaneity – Being present in the moment sometimes means taking moments as they come.  Some of us like to make plans and stick to them and aren’t all that comfortable when we need to deviate.  But often our best memories come from unplanned moments, where we just trusted our instincts, took the leap, and ended up with an unforgettable experience or a friend for life.  Don’t let fear stop you from taking advantage of opportunities to be spontaneous.
  • Let your inner “nerd” come out – Are you a terrible dancer who loves to dance?  Turn the music up and invite some friends over.  Do you find the history of mushroom cultivation fascinating?  Don’t be afraid to explain enthusiastically.  Often, these are the aspects of ourselves that we’re most afraid to have judged.  But they’re also often the aspects that best show our passions, and through that, who we really are.  (Pro-tip: Not that we’re exactly encouraging a captive audience, but people will almost always sit still for an explanation if they’re being fed well, so maybe learn some good recipes with different mushrooms as a visual (and edible) aid.)
  • Let go of ego – Most of us go into every interaction with a pre-set notion of what to expect. The problem with this is that our ego is dictating what the outcome of a situation should be before we even experience it. And when what we get back isn’t what we expected, it is natural that we allow our hurt pride determine how much we give back in return. Instead, set aside your expectations. Let go of your ego. Allow yourself to be truly vulnerable and love without keeping score.

Click to tweet: Allow yourself to be truly vulnerable and love without keeping score.

Do you have any favorite tried-and-true ways to foster deeper genuine connections with others?  We’re always looking to expand our list, so e-mail hello@davine.com or connect on Facebook or Instagram!

With Optimism,

The Davine Team