The skill of Acknowledgement and why it’s important to learn it.October 14, 2023
The real value of Coaching in our chaotic world.December 15, 2023
After all your personal work are you still finding Connection to be elusive in your life? You’ve been working on the 4 Skills to make a friend as well as the 3 Skills for Connection. You’re trying to find ways to meet new people but somehow creating more connection in your life is still elusive. Maybe it’s not the things you aren’t doing, maybe it’s because where you live doesn’t have any Third Places.
I recently came across the concept of a Third Place. It was somewhere that I never would have thought has anything to do with connection. In a video channel called Not Just Bikes. After all, everything I speak about in my coaching blogs tends to circle around who you are being and in what way you are going about trying to create more connection in your life. What would a Youtube channel about bikes have to do with connection?
THE THIRD PLACE
The video shares the concept of The Third Place. What is a third place? To quote Wikipedia, “in sociology, the third place refers to the social surroundings that are separate from the two usual social environments of home (the first place) and the workplace ( second place).” In the video from Not Just Bikes, the creator gives examples of third places such as local pubs, churches, community centres, cafes and town squares.
If you live in a North American city or suburbia, you will more than likely find these things don’t really exist or aren’t very common. If they do you will need to hop in your car and drive to them. During my travels to Central America I noticed that almost everywhere I went there was a town square. A concept I was unfamiliar with as a Canadian. A town square is an example of that third place. One where you can see, interact and possibly create connection with someone who you see repeatedly and maybe one day strike up a conversation with.
CITY PLANNING AND CONNECTION
The video continues to dive into city planning ideas, and it’s the key focus of the content. But the piece that struck me as a coach was that the content creator had highlighted a really important piece of why in North America we struggle to connect with each other; city planning.
When you live in a city or town where driving to everything is how you get around, how on earth do you meet others? Over 10 years ago I moved to a new part of my city, downtown, out of the suburbs. I moved 2 blocks away from a really special neighbourhood, Cook Street Village. Over the years I’ve gotten to know a few of the restaurant owners, I hang out at the very busy local pub, shop at the grocery stores and I even started volunteering a few hours a week at the community centre. And I always walk there. My life and social circle began to expand. Now I run into people I recognize. I once again feel a sense of community, I feel connected. I never would have felt this way had I continued to live in the suburbs.
TURNING THE MIRROR ON YOU
Yes how we show up in our world greatly affects whether we have friends and a sense of connection in our lives, but so does where we live. If you don’t have any of the above mentioned options in your neighbourhood, if you can’t walk to an area that offers several different third places, then what chance are you giving yourself of decreasing your loneliness? Of trying to have a greater sense of connection in your life?
Perhaps you’re finding connection to be elusive in your life because the environment you have placed yourself in is one that contributes to and supports our culture of individualism. Community and connection go hand in hand. If you want to work towards creating this in your life then consider doing some coaching around this goal.
Change can always be a bit scary. Coaching can help you create what you want in your life. It puts you in the drivers seat and just maybe what is now elusive can become attainable.