CONNECT TO RECONNECT
With this pandemic still going on, of course, we need help with resources and with connections. When considering the relationships in your life, they can be identified in three main groups. Strong ties, weak ties, and dormant ties. Who do we go for?
Lhia Ubaldo | May 8, 2020
As the economy goes down because of this pandemic, the rate of unemployment goes up. We can’t blame business owners though, because it’s just their instinct to save what took them years to build – and that’s their business. Of course we as an individual would think about surviving every day until this pandemic ends. But what if we just got news that the company that we work for are cutting people off? Of course, the first response to the matter would be going online and look for other job offers. But have we considered the power of connecting through dormant ties?
Are friends and colleagues you haven’t connected with in some time.
The world of social media continues to expand as this pandemic prolongs. Gone are the days where we ask people to meet us at coffee shops or malls. Now we only see them through our screens. Social media made everything easier when reaching out, actually. In particular, they have made access to long-lost friends, colleagues and acquaintances as easy as a few keystrokes. Now with relative ease, people can reactivate what may have seemed like dead connections. And even though networks of contacts are obviously important for many things like finding a job, getting your work done, learning new things and providing social and emotional support, there is only so much time in a day. As a result, there is a limit to how many relationships a person can actively maintain, which is one reason why so many relationships become dormant in the first place.
WHAT’S PREVENTING US TO RECONNECT?
When an opportunity arises to rebuild a past relationship, we often think to ourselves, “I haven’t spoken to Susan in a while. But since we’re out of touch, there’s no way she would want to speak to me again.”
Just because you’ve fallen out of touch with a colleague or a friend means they don’t want to speak with you. If you were in good terms when you last spoke to each other, then you’re both good and they probably wouldn’t mind talking with you again and wouldn’t penalize you for being MIA (missing in action). Also, Susan will share the responsibility for neglecting to reach out to you, too.
Research shows that it has less to do with you and more to do with our age. They said after 25, our network reaches its peak size. It shrinks due to marriage, children or work commitments. So don’t let the lack of communication fool you into thinking its personal, when as a matter of fact the other person might be just really busy with their life. Hey, adult life, remember?
ENTER DORMANT TIES
First of all, don’t confuse dormant ties with weak ties. Dormant ties are those that have fallen away or gone quiet, but weren’t necessarily weak in the first place. In fact, the stronger the initial relationship, the better your chances of a beneficial reconnection. With weak ties, you haven’t established much, if any connection.
We have heard somewhere that when a problem arise (preferably when you are looking for work), our first instinct would be going to our strong or close ties—the people we know well and see regularly. But can they really help us? Classic evidence shows that connecting through dormant ties are more likely to help us get a job. Dormant ties open up access to new people and new leads. And probably since you don’t usually talk often, they are most gladly to do you a one huge favour compared to people you always have around.
HOW TO RECONNECT WITH THEM
Now, reconnecting with dormant ties doesn’t always mean you can ask Susan for a favour – if you do that, you might as well kiss that goodwill goodbye. It happens a lot! How often do we hear stories from our friends that yesterday, their distant friend from high school suddenly messaged them and asking how they were? Only to find out that their “Kamusta ka na?” is usually followed by “Favor sana, meron ka ba diyang *insert amount*? Borrow lang sana but will pay agad.”
If you’re planning to reconnect with a dormant tie, here are some few sample template or ideas:
- Make sure to explain why you haven’t spoken to the person in a while and why you feel sad for losing touch.
- Let the person know what you’re currently working on and if you can be of help to the person.
- Inform the person when you’re free for a phone call or in-person chat.
Reconnecting doesn’t have to be an act of taking. It can be an act of giving, a gesture of generosity. Or just really letting them know that you miss them and want to catch up. There is no better time to reconnect than it is right now. This pandemic has given us a lot of time for reflections. Your dormant ties may really appreciate if you reach out today.