Loneliness arises, we're hungry for Connection.

Brené Brown in Altas of the Heart lists 82 emotions and 13 “places we go”. I will curate the one’s most important to me. Direct quotes attributed to Brené Brown.

What drives Connection?

The third human need according to Maslow’s hierarchy is love and belonging, only superseded by physiological needs and safety needs.

Hunger is a warning that our blood sugar is low and we need to eat. Thirst warns us that we need to drink to avoid dehydration. Pain alerts us to potential tissue damage. And loneliness tells us that we need social connection—something as critical to our well-being as food and water. He [Cacioppo] explains, “Denying you feel lonely makes no more sense than denying you feel hungry.”

The substance that makes us feel whole again, like drinking water when thirsty, is the feeling of connection. Brené defines connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued.

How to seek Connection? How to give it?

Constantly in relationships we bid for connection with each other. These are moments where we hope to feel seen, heard, and valued.

Some examples of Bids for Connection —

  • Sharing stories about our day.
  • Grasping for attention, pointing out something you noticed.
  • Sharing accomplishments.
  • Sending a post or link.
  • Aiming for a hug or physical affection.
  • Sharing an interest.
  • Expressing a concern.
  • Expressing desires and expectations.

Next time you’re feeling lonely, reconnect by either —

  1. Putting yourself around others and listen for their bids and accept them. Derive sustenance and strength from that relationship.
  2. Make a bid. Reach out, notice how another responds. This could literally be a bid, Can I tell you about my day? I would like some time with you. Will you help me with something? I want to take 10 breathes together.