How Are You Connected? Engage, Engaged, Engaging and Engagement


If there were a relationship intelligence assessment it would be based primarily on how well you engage in your relationships.

When people think of relationships they tend to think in the direction of the romantic type, but let’s broaden that.

Think, for a moment, about ALL your relationships. This would include your friendships, co-workers, neighbors, relatives, business acquaintances, schoolmates, etc.

That’s a lot of people and a lot of different types of relationships. Some are close and intimate, others are shallow and superficial, and still others are somewhere in the middle. There is a very wide and deep continuum of relationship dynamics and characteristics.

But there is one thing all relationships have in common: They ALL require a connection. And the closer the connection, the more intimate the relationship becomes.

And this is where the engaging energy comes into play. Here are three questions for you to ponder:

How well do you engage in your relationships?

Are you engaged in your relationships?

How engaging are you in your relationships?

(We’ll address the engagement part a bit later.)

The degree to which you engage in your relationships dictates how available you are to make a connection.

Once you have a connection, the degree to which you’re engaged dictates how you’re listening, understanding, empathizing and being present with the people with whom you’re interacting.

Your ability and willingness to be engaging will determine how far and deep the interaction and relationship will go. This includes the sharing and exchanging of information, thoughts, ideas and feelings in a way that is mutual and inviting.

All of which invites the engagement part. In my opinion, people who are considering engagement as a step to marriage might want to consider the previous three questions regarding their relationship.

Another way to ask these questions might be:

How emotionally available are you and how do you measure that availability?

Do you exercise active listening?

How intimate are you willing to be?

Few of us have had any formalized training in how to have happy, healthy and harmonious relationships, and many have had the opposite experience of dysfunctional, disconnected and divorced relationships.

It doesn’t really take a lot of information to become more relationally (and emotionally) intelligent, but it does take a tremendous amount of willingness. And that willingness must include being willing to go outside your previously determined comfort zone and embrace the unfamiliar, uncertain and unpredictable new space of intimacy and connection.

SO…engage…be engaged…be engaging. And even if you have no desire or plans of an engagement, you will add to the quality of ALL your relationships. And you’ll be on your way to becoming much more relationally and emotionally intelligent.

Allow yourself to be vulnerable to new ideas and actions to create happier, healthier and more harmonious relationships. You deserve it and so does everyone else around you!


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About Ken Donaldson

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