Built for Connection and Storytelling
Your back pocket vibrates as your phone lights up with a new cacophony of updates and voices, each one pleading to be heard.
Behind every blog, status, Tweet, or picture is the urgent yearning to be known. This comes as no surprise—we are built for connection and wired for intimacy.
Research professor and author Brené Brown recalls,
“The surest thing I took away from my BSW, MSW, and PhD in social work is this: Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives…”
This interdependence starts at the moment of conception. During the first twenty-four months of life, the brain’s right hemisphere begins developing its functionalities with incredible speed. This hemisphere is responsible for interpreting and generating nonverbal cues such as intonations, body posture, and facial expressions.
Using these cues to contextualize words and exchanges, the right hemisphere works in conjunction with the left side of the brain to paint a holistic comprehension of the world that is rooted in interpersonal connections.
Psychiatrist and author Curt Thompson explains in his book, Anatomy of the Soul,
“The brain is capable of being wired in response to the interactions an infant has with parents…secure attachment has far-reaching and positive implications for a child’s future cognitive, social, and emotional development as well”.
Babies have the potential to recognize a sense of connection and being wanted starting as early as seven months. From the get-go, we require connection. It is responsible for ordering how we will perceive and interpret our role in the world. This inclination or, rather, this need, is truly hardwired into us.
Our brains respond to stories with an attentiveness that is not equally paralleled when we hear facts.
Dr. Thompson continues to write,
This sense of connection allows us to construct our own stories and to engage in others’.
We have the unique, beautiful capacity to invent the world we inhabit by sharing our stories, dreams, and aspirations.
The more connections we build with and between people, whether they be close friends, students exploring the world on the support of a scholarship, or the donor placing hope in an institution, the fuller the world will become.