Who Do You Want To Reestablish Contact With?

Of all the people you have known over your lifetime, are there people you have lost touch with that you would like to contact once again?

As social animals, the relationships we have with others are tremendously important. Part of what makes life enjoyable is the pleasure we get from the presence of other people. The company of a good friend is irreplaceable.

And yet, as the years go by, we might lose touch with one or more of these people. There are many reasons why this might happen: someone moves away. Busy lives and/or full schedules. A falling out over religion, or politics, or some other personal matter. You can probably think of others.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Are we too busy?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’


Technology is a two-edged sword when it comes to maintaining relationships.

In some ways, it is easier than ever to stay in touch. People carry phones with them everywhere. Video conferencing is ubiquitous. Sending a text message or an email is fast and easy, and messages can travel around the world in a matter of moments.

However, social media — despite the name — inhibits social interaction. If you can read a post, scroll though someone’s feed, or watch a recording, why would you need additional contact? In fact, calls are frowned upon in favor of texts, yet a text message is much less interactive than a call.

Is there someone — or multiple someones — from your life that you wish you were more frequently in touch with? Whose company you miss, but for whatever reason you are no longer in regular contact?

If a good friend, or mentor, or confidant, has died, of course, they are beyond connection. Short of that, can you pinpoint exactly why you lost touch with someone you like? And what, if anything, might you do to change that?

Related questions: Who do you miss? What do you get out of social media? What are our responsibilities to others? Are we too busy?

How Do You Make Friends As An Adult?

For many children making friends is remarkably easy. However, adults often find it more challenging. How do you make friends as an adult?

Children are not picky about their friends. Thus, another child, say, at the park, or in the grocery store aisle, just might be your new friend.

However, as you age and learn more about yourself as a person, you become more selective regarding your friends. They need to share an interest or two with you. Their personality needs to be compatible with yours. You have to be able to find a common schedule, which is not always easy.

Moreover, the social opportunities available to meet potential friends may shrink as well. Rather than attending school with dozens or even hundreds of people your own age, you may work in a company with people from drastically different ages and backgrounds.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘How do you think others see you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How can we maintain wonder?’


Even if you do meet people, for instance, at a friend’s party. Will you be able to find a common area of interest in the limited amount of time you have together?

Another potential problem someone may face in making new friends is that you don’t need any. That is, your social circle may already be as full as you want it to be, so you may not be looking for, or open to, meeting someone new.

All of which can make it harder for an adult to make friends, when compared to a child. How can these problems be overcome? Are there any methods you have discovered that allow you to make friends as an adult?

Related questions: What qualities do you look for in a friend? Can an Internet friend be a true companion? Would you be friends with yourself? What fictional character would you like to befriend?

In What Ways Do You Defy Gender Stereotypes?

Society has some pretty well-established gender stereotypes. In what ways do you not match up with those stereotypes?

Gender stereotypes are pervasive, starting with people’s behavior towards infants. Boys are given blue blankets; girls pink. Young boys play with action figures, while girls play with dolls.

These assumptions continue to adulthood. Men like cars and sports, and are emotionally distant. Women, on the other hand, wear dresses and makeup, and tend to be flighty.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What gives a person value?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes you you?’


Of course, in reality, each and every one of us is an individual, and so we may find ourselves in agreement with all, some, or none of these commonly-held gender expectations.

Are there any ways in which you feel you don’t fit in with conventional gender roles? How so? And what does that difference mean for how you see yourself, and how others in the community might see you? In what ways do you defy gender stereotypes?

Related questions: How are you a non-conformist? How do you think others see you? Individual or society? What role do sports play in our society?

 

How Would You Describe Your Civic Life?

Civic life can vary drastically from person to person, and from town to town. Are you active in your local community?

In our lives, there is some level of civic engagement.Even if you live out in the country, there are some services that are provided by the nearby town that benefit you.

The exact amount varies from person to person. While one person might have children in the public school system, another may check out books from the local library. You might serve on a town committee of some sort, or just organize a block party for your neighbors.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’


There are some civic services that benefit everyone, like local roads we all drive on, or trash and recycling collection that is done on a weekly basis. What other services do you take advantage of?

Some people are simply good members of the town they inhabit. That might mean shopping a locally-owned stores rather than national chains or online outlets. Or it might mean picking up trash at a local park, or helping out a neighbor in some way.

There is also actual engagement in local politics. This runs the gamut from voting in town elections, to serving on select committees or attending forums to discuss issues that impact your neighborhood or city.

There are many ways of being a member in the town or city where you live. Which ones are meaningful or important to you? How would you describe your civic life?

Related questions: What are our responsibilities to others? What role should the government play in our lives? Why do you live where you live? Urban, suburban, or rural?

When Have You Felt Like A Stranger In A Strange Land?

You can feel out of place when you are halfway around the world, or right next door. Have you felt like a stranger in a strange land? When?

If you take a trip to someplace you have never been, you might feel like an outsider. Particularly if everyone around you speaks a foreign language, or you are far from home.

However, it is also possible to feel like a stranger at a party where you don’t know anyone. Maybe everyone else seems to know each other, or have something in common. If you are not in a particularly outgoing mood, it might be very isolating.

“Speaking a foreign language” may not refer to English, or French, or Japanese. If you are the only single person in a room of married people with children, you might well feel like you don’t understand what anyone is talking about. Or a book person in a room full of jocks, or a plumber in a room full of computer programmers, and so on.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’


Of course, being a stranger isn’t always bad. On a vacation to a new destination, you might find some natural beauty that you love. New places might bring new architecture, new art, new experiences.

Similarly, at the party full of strangers you may meet a new best friend. Or at the very least, you may have an interesting conversation about something you don’t know much about or haven’t heard of. Trying new things can bring about positive change.

Of course, it might not. And even if it does, that doesn’t change the level of discomfort you feel when you are surrounded by the unfamiliar.

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? Have you ever felt like a stranger in a strange land?

Related questions: What do you like about travel? Why do we feel the need to belong? What is uncomfortable but rewarding? When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone?