Being a small business owner can be a lonely, isolating business. There are lots of recommendations to mitigate this unavoidable problem. But here is one that resonates. Just call to check in and catch up with others, revitalize your support system by having regular conversations.
People often think of great relationships as being built on deep trust, meaningful interactions, and soul-searching discussions. While these count, research has found that even quick, superficial contact was positive. The new study shows an amazingly simple way to boost your wellness and happiness: Have a face-to-face conversation with a friend or colleague once daily.
When you catch up quickly, you stay in touch with what’s going on with people, and you have a basis to check in the next time. You learn your teammate has just made an offer on a house, and you ask about it the next time you see them. Or you find out their child was just accepted to college, and you can check in on the transition process when you run into them again. Or they share that they’ve put in for a new job, and you can offer your support.
Relationships are built on continuity and familiarity—so the more you know, the more you can build. And every tidbit you learn about them, or they learn about you, is a deposit in a bank to help you understand each other. So, catch up quickly on the elevator or send a brief email to check-in. Or call a friend during your commute time to let someone know you’re thinking of them.
Focus on Others
Happiness is correlated with focusing on others more than yourself. Ask questions about how someone is doing, be present and focused, and demonstrate that you respect and support them. Complimenting others was also a contributor—so focus on what you sincerely appreciate about someone and express it.
When you joke with someone about a situation, you reinforce common ground—something you can laugh at or roll your eyes about. And if you tease in a constructive way, you’re demonstrating that you know and understand a person. Of course, teasing must never be negative or disrespectful, but laughing together can help you bond and contribute to your well-being.
Make It Easy
And it may be easier than you think, with quick contact, regular conversations, and checking in with even one close friend each day. Feeling connected and having a sense of belonging are significant determinants of all kinds of health, so it’s worth the effort.