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Updated: Feb 2, 2023

What is connection on an interpersonal level?

As I perused the synonyms for "connection" - assembly, linking, construction, associating, relationship, correlation, relation, context - my heart quickened and a sense of discomfort overtook me.

Joining is about becoming a part of something, about giving a part of oneself to that entity. My childhood experiences with joining made me feel pressured, as if it was what good girls do. This sense of pressure still makes me hesitate when it comes to joining anything. Nevertheless, I have joined AA, a cause close to my heart, and a spiritual partnership.

The word "assembly" conjures up memories of my school days, where I was herded into the gymnasium along with my peers to watch as the popular students were awarded. I felt a sense of inadequacy and fear that I would never measure up and be recognized.

The word "relation" elicits negative emotions within me. It brings to mind the image of harmful relationships, such as a child being abused by an adult.

The term "context" also has a negative connotation for me. I believe that subjectivity is more crucial than context. Context implies mutuality in the experience, that both parties are connected in a shared experience. However, every connection has two subjective perspectives, and the overlap between these perspectives is the context. But context is not always synonymous with truth.

It's interesting to see how past experiences shape our views and emotions towards certain words and concepts. My past experiences with connections have left me with feelings of hesitation and fear. However, I have grown and evolved into a confident woman who recognizes her worth and can identify red flags. I now have faith in my own instincts and abilities to make connections assertively and gracefully. I am making good decisions for myself, and I think it's important to show compassion and love towards the young version of myself who didn't have the same confidence.

Connection on an interpersonal level refers to a bond or relationship between individuals. It involves a sense of emotional, mental, or spiritual interaction, and often results in a mutual understanding and shared experience. Connection can involve elements such as empathy, trust, communication, and support, and can deepen over time with continued interaction. It can bring a sense of belonging and fulfillment, and is often considered an important aspect of personal and social well-being.

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