RE-LEARNING HOW TO CONNECT IN-PERSON
By: TedX Speaker, Brian Miller
“I forget how to people.”
A student said that to me recently, during my program on human connection for a virtual leadership conference.
Here’s the obvious fact: 18 months of physical distancing took a devastating toll on both our emotional wellbeing and social skills.
What’s worse, pre-pandemic studies showed that college students have 40% less empathy than they did just 20 years ago. Is it really a mystery why anxiety and depression are off-the-charts among teens and young adults today?
Students no longer feel heard, understood, or valued. It’s taking a toll on their health, and it’s preventing them from living meaningful lives and finding fulfilling work.
Now the good news: The problem is completely fixable, and your students can lead the way.
Students who report the lowest levels of loneliness – those who have reliable friend groups, strong family ties, and go on to find fulfilling jobs – are those who have frequent, meaningful, in-person interactions.
Frequent. Meaningful. In-person.
These things are simple, but as your students are finding, they are not easy. The key to making meaningful connections is perspective-taking, the ability to see the world from the point-of-view of another person. It’s the ability to say, “I’m here, but I can see why you’re there.”
As I teach students in my program “How to Magically Connect with Anyone,” human connection is not about agreement. It’s about understanding.
The cure for loneliness is to be the cure for others. They will do the same for you, and we create a virtuous cycle that eventually creates an entire campus environment of kindness and generosity.
“How to Magically Connect with Anyone” is based on my viral TEDx talk of the same name, which has been viewed 3.5 million times worldwide and included on lists like “5 TED Talks to Watch Before an Interview” by Kaplan Test Prep.
The program is an interactive, fast-paced introduction to what I call the “human connection revolution.” It’s full of magic, laugh-out-loud stories from 10+ years traveling the world as a magician, and strategies your students will implement before they even leave the room.
Not only will they remember “how to people,” they’ll fall back in love with humanity.
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