Who will you connect with – and disconnect with – in 2018?
Connections start with a single move. A comment to another person standing in line to get coffee. A complement to someone next to you at the conference. A smile to the person also standing in the rain, waiting for the bus. Holding the door for another person.
Connections can often start easily, with a single sentence.
So why is it hard sometimes to end a connection?
By the time we’ve sometimes decided that the person we’ve contacted and maybe even begun connecting with isn’t the Right Person, it can feel sticky to remove ourselves. We may feel compelled to have to explain yet are horrified at having to have that conversation.
In reality, disconnection is equally important to healthy, meaningful and purposeful relationship. Disconnection is part of connection. So how can you disconnect simply and respectfully?
- Do it live: in person or on the phone. Never via email, text or other impersonal electronica.
- Be up front. A simple thoughtful conversation of, “I’ve appreciated our time together. It’s time for me to move on, it’s not a good fit. Best wishes, good-bye.”
- Be brief. A few concentrated minutes of deciding what you’ll kindly and specifically and succinctly say to the other person in advance of your conversation is worth its weight in gold.
- Be respectful. If you feel compelled to say more after your brief and direct address, stop yourself, pause. No apologies are necessary if it’s not a right fit; simply restate that you’ve appreciated their time again and move on.
- Move on. Don’t linger in your own mind or get caught in the “maybewecouldve’s.” If you’ve really decided that a disconnect is in order, do it civilly and stick to it.
- Don’t burn connections, even in disconnecting. Disconnect when you’re fully alert, sober and with empathy. You’d want the same in return.
I’ve learned over the years not everyone is willing to be so directly compassionate in ending a connection. So it goes. We’re human – we want easy & quick and to remove ourselves with minimal discomfort. What I do is have my mindset to accepting, even if I don’t understand, and moving on. Belaboring or trying to get an audience with someone who has disconnected with you isn’t going to be fruitful.
Every end provides room for a new beginning. Use the fuel of the situation to move forward rather than languish and mope. You can change the future, not the past.
Once a disconnect has happened, open up your mind, set it on positive and go try again.