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Impress or Connect? You Can’t Do Both

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, we're going to explore our underlying intentions when we're communicating with others. Specifically, we're going to look at noticing whether we're trying to impress others or truly connect with them. So really often, as we go about daily life, a lot of our behavior is actually compelled by a deep desire to be admired, to be seen as good, to be seen as special. I think if we admit it to ourselves, we often want to be a little bit better than others.

We want to be prettier, smarter, more successful, better at some particular thing. We want that kind of feeling of being special or standing out. But what it all comes down to underneath all of that is that we want to be accepted, we want to be loved. Now, it's very tempting to be attached to the opinions of other people and really define our self-worth through them. But the problem with this is that then we live so much of our lives driven by an urge to impress.

We strive hard to prove our worth, we try to be somebody special in the eyes of the world, and we can end up spending our time, in the words of David Ramsey, buying things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't know. Now women are often conditioned to compete with each other for men's attention and desire. Men are often taught to compete to get to the top. We see all these images and advertisements showing us what we should have and what we should be like. And it's like, nobody wants to be average anymore.

As long as we're caught up in this cycle where we're trying to impress, we're actually in a very, very fragile position in life because our sense of self-worth is all wrapped up in extrinsic factors, that is, conditions outside ourselves. What other people think of us, whether we have the possessions that the ads tell us we should have, whether we look like the pictures in the magazines. It's not only that, but we end up competing with others instead of connecting with them. And when we do that, the tendency is, we actually end up feeling more and more lonely and disconnected. There's no genuine kind of connection between us and other people.

So it's worth pausing to ponder every now and then what is it that you truly want most to impress or connect? Because you really can't have both at the same time. To truly connect with another human being you have to lay aside your desire to be better than them, lay aside desire to have them see you in any particular way and just be present with them. Look into their eyes, listen to their stories, see past your judgments and agendas to the heart of who that person is. If we're able to truly connect with others, we build friendships, we build trust, we build authenticity and love, we break down barriers, take off our masks together and we lead more fulfilling and meaningful lives. So my invitation for you is to simply notice when you're interacting with others, what your underlying intention is.

Is it to impress or is it to truly connect? And as much as possible, seeing what it's like to let go of everything else and truly be present to connect. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And inviting you to settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Impress or Connect? You Can’t Do Both

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, we're going to explore our underlying intentions when we're communicating with others. Specifically, we're going to look at noticing whether we're trying to impress others or truly connect with them. So really often, as we go about daily life, a lot of our behavior is actually compelled by a deep desire to be admired, to be seen as good, to be seen as special. I think if we admit it to ourselves, we often want to be a little bit better than others.

We want to be prettier, smarter, more successful, better at some particular thing. We want that kind of feeling of being special or standing out. But what it all comes down to underneath all of that is that we want to be accepted, we want to be loved. Now, it's very tempting to be attached to the opinions of other people and really define our self-worth through them. But the problem with this is that then we live so much of our lives driven by an urge to impress.

We strive hard to prove our worth, we try to be somebody special in the eyes of the world, and we can end up spending our time, in the words of David Ramsey, buying things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't know. Now women are often conditioned to compete with each other for men's attention and desire. Men are often taught to compete to get to the top. We see all these images and advertisements showing us what we should have and what we should be like. And it's like, nobody wants to be average anymore.

As long as we're caught up in this cycle where we're trying to impress, we're actually in a very, very fragile position in life because our sense of self-worth is all wrapped up in extrinsic factors, that is, conditions outside ourselves. What other people think of us, whether we have the possessions that the ads tell us we should have, whether we look like the pictures in the magazines. It's not only that, but we end up competing with others instead of connecting with them. And when we do that, the tendency is, we actually end up feeling more and more lonely and disconnected. There's no genuine kind of connection between us and other people.

So it's worth pausing to ponder every now and then what is it that you truly want most to impress or connect? Because you really can't have both at the same time. To truly connect with another human being you have to lay aside your desire to be better than them, lay aside desire to have them see you in any particular way and just be present with them. Look into their eyes, listen to their stories, see past your judgments and agendas to the heart of who that person is. If we're able to truly connect with others, we build friendships, we build trust, we build authenticity and love, we break down barriers, take off our masks together and we lead more fulfilling and meaningful lives. So my invitation for you is to simply notice when you're interacting with others, what your underlying intention is.

Is it to impress or is it to truly connect? And as much as possible, seeing what it's like to let go of everything else and truly be present to connect. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And inviting you to settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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