13 tips to help you connect with others and strengthen your relationships

Connecting with others is an important part of our physical and mental well-being. When we take small steps to open up and connect with those around us, we can find meaning in our lives and feel supported in achieving our goals.

We asked our Thrive Stars to share with us the little strategies that help them stay connected to the people in their lives. Which of these tips will you try?

Schedule check-ins with your friends

“My best friend moved to a city four hours away a little over a year ago and although we try to network every day, she works night shifts and I work day shifts so the time difference in our schedules makes it very difficult at times to keep the balance . Some of the micro-steps, like scheduling the connection time, were very important to us. We took this time to specifically set aside time for a conversation. I make time, especially on our days off together, to call and catch up. This was imperative as we have such different schedules as she sleeps while I work and vice versa.”

—Amanda Rogers, Walmart #1016, NS, Canada

Send around a funny meme

“Because it’s graduation season, I’ve been calling a lot of my friends from high school recently as we now have kids graduating from high school and college. It was fun reminiscing. I like to post a meme to start conversations. I also send music videos (the 80’s were great!) and tell my friends what the song means to me and ask them which song speaks to them. It’s so much fun to see how people’s mood that day affects what they post. I also send silly messages at random times, send a picture of the tree in front of my office, or a movie quote. It’s a fun and easy way to stay connected.

– Jeanna Hale, Store 1731, Geneva, NY

Start a “special mailbox” tradition

“My older sister Jeanette and I have a tradition that we call ‘special mailbox’. She has a mailbox in Michigan near her garage and on the days I work I’ll drop by after my shift and leave a treat in the mailbox for her and she leaves a treat for me. We also both leave a “Love You” note on a notepad. She lives about 15 miles from the Walmart I work at, and I take the longer way home for our special tradition.”

– Brenda Glover, Walmart #4399, Cassopolis, MI

Call your kids when you go for a walk

“I try to keep in touch with my daughters on a daily basis. My daughters are 26 and 24 and we are very close. Even though they both live twenty minutes apart now, we still text each other every day. While I’m walking, I also like to talk to them on the phone. This not only gives me the opportunity to exercise, but also motivates me to walk more. I love talking or texting with my girls. You are the world to me. ”

– Tammy Duncan, Walmart #5708, Alberta, Canada

Plan a movie day with a friend

“As an introvert extrovert, I’m fine, but I’d rather be at home. The Thrive Challenge encouraged me to make plans with a close friend who hates texting and I hate talking on the phone. We’re planning a movie day. She loves my son, so he will come with her. I’m pretty busy right now, so this challenge reminded me to try to get more involved and go out. It helps me to take the small steps that push me out of my shell.”

– Kathleen Wallace, Walmart #3738, Cheswick, PA

Sign up to show your appreciation

“One tip I have for connecting with people in my life is to always communicate and show appreciation. There are times when I can’t see people face to face, but I always make it a point to reach out, communicate, show my appreciation and remind them that they are great to me. I just strive to make a positive impact on someone’s day.”

— Kayla Rollans, Walmart Home Office, Bentonville, AR

Schedule a volunteer day at your child’s school

“Connect with your child and schedule a day off to volunteer at your child’s school or drive your child to the next planned field trip. And always let your employer know in advance that you need time off to be with your child. One day our children will grow up and they will wish they had taken that one day of the year to make memories.”

– Rachel Smith, Walmart #1843, McMinnville, OR

Encourage your friends to stay positive

​​”I go out for coffee with my friends and we talk about positive things that are happening in our lives. I also have this special friend who encourages me to keep up with the good work I’m doing with the Thrive Challenge. She’s like a mentor in my life right now. It’s so important to have someone who encourages us to continue positive habits in our lives.

– Maryann Janzen, Walmart #1078, Alberta, Canada

Try to see things from other people’s perspectives

“My tip is based on my relationship with a younger relative of mine. You and I have had difficult life experiences for different reasons, and our long-distance communication has not been open or loving. After several angry exchanges, I stepped back and saw things from their perspective. I apologized and she and I brought to the surface some uncomfortable life experiences and feelings that allowed us to heal our connection and restore some trust. I now feel lighter and more hopeful for our future.”

– Clare Creegan, Walmart #5823, Dallas, TX

Ask meaningful questions

“I always ask friends and my children how they are today and I ask them what they have experienced lately that has influenced them positively. One question I ask when I haven’t communicated in a while is, ‘Are there any recent changes or additions in your life that you have celebrated or would like to celebrate?’”

– Larasha Gray, Walmart #8221, New Orleans, LA

Schedule video chats with long-distance friends

“I recently met up with old friends back home in Nigeria. I had a video chat with some friends and showed them how things are made and done here in America. I showed them how I walk my dogs and how I work out at the gym. It was a very good experience to share the way of life here with them. I like talking on the phone and texting old friends and they’re happy to catch up.”

– Oladipo Olayemi, Walmart customer, Janesville, WI

Pick a day of the week when you want to get in touch

“I choose one day a week to just reach out to family and friends. I usually go to a park and call or text them to let them know I’m thinking of them and to see if they need anything. I also call or text right away if I can think of someone, even if it’s not my chosen day.”

—Naomi Scott, Walmart customer, Occoquan VA

Maintain eye contact during conversations

“An unexpected place I found a special connection was in the beauty salon. After greeting a woman I had met, we struck up a conversation and I got in touch with her story without even knowing each other. During the conversation, I looked into her eyes and tried to put myself in her shoes and connect to her feelings. We shouldn’t downplay the emotions of our friends or people who approach us. We must listen carefully and make appropriate physical contact when necessary, and always look others in the eye when they are speaking. We can be the light when it’s dark.”

– Ana Marleny Mercedes Gonzalez, Business, #2346, Toa Baja, PR

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