Five Keys to Developing YOUR Capacity for Emotional Connection

WELCOME!

Emotional connection is the ‘glue’ that holds relationships together.

While people differ in their style of emotional connection, anyone can develop their capacity for deeper emotional connection.

Todays post will provide some tips on how to develop your capacity to connect emotionally with others.

Five Keys to Developing YOUR Capacity for Emotional Connection

1. Slow Down and be fully present
2. Become and stay curious
3. Develop your listening skills
4. Commit to always tell the truth
5. Be with what is, let go of fixing things

Slow Down and be fully present

Our fast paced, goal driven society does not exactly encourage deep connections between people.

Almost every interaction with another human being provides an opportunity to connect emotionally.

As I like to say, we are always building our ‘relationship house’.

I invite you to strive to build your ‘relationship house’ on the solid and fertile foundation of sincere interest in the ‘other’.

Further, I encourage you to strive to be fully present with life, here and now, and to do all you can to ‘fully show up’ for your family, friends, colleagues, etc.

Become and stay curious

Curiosity is what keeps life fresh, new, and inspiring.

If you want to develop your capacity for emotional connection, I invite you to become and stay curious.

Curiosity is contagious.  The more interest you show in another person the more interest they will tend to show in you.

When was the last time someone really showed a sincere interest in you, your aspirations, and dreams?

Exactly.

We tend to recall these types of conversations precisely because they are so rare.

Give yourself and those with whom you associate the gift of your sincere interest.

All of your relationships will benefit.

We are always forming our minds.  I invite you to train your mind to be curious, discerning, and open to what’s possible. 

Develop your listening skills

Once you have cultivated the habit of being curious about other people and their unique life circumstances you are in a far better position to develop your listening skills.

Non-judgmental, other centered listening is a critical building block of ‘empathy’.

Trust and empathy form the foundation of emotional connection.

I invite you to train your mind to be fully present and just listen.  Listen without immediately forming an opinion about what you are hearing.  Hear the other person out.

Train yourself to ask questions to understand rather than challenge.

Develop the habit of giving people space to fully form their words, explore their ideas, and share their opinions.

A good part of our speech is spontaneous and unconsciously formed.

From one perspective, our speech is one way we create and test our ideas about life and the world we live in.

Self-expression = self-exploration.

Non-judgmental, other centered listening is one way to support others in their quest to understand themselves and their life circumstances.

Commit to always tell the truth

Honesty, transparency, and authenticity form the foundation on which mutual respect and trust are built.

Mutual respect and trust are essential for empathic communication or emotional connection.

If you want people to fully trust you then you must be fully trustworthy.

The other benefit of always being fully honest is the internal consistency this practice creates.

Internal consistency fosters a calm, unflappable attitude that is reassuring and builds trust.

We have all been around people who posses this sort of calm self-confidence.  We tend to look up to such people.

Be with what is, let go of fixing things

This is a hard one to fully implement, especially for men.

I can say this because I am a man who fully understands this principle, but still sometimes manages to jump into ‘problem solving mode’ before being asked to do so.

People can generally figure things out for themselves.

Many times the most serviceful thing to do is just to listen and then ask, “Well, what are you taking away from our conversation”.

I have found that even when people ask for advice it is often best to gently put the ball back in their court by asking some more questions to understand their situation.

This approach leaves the other person in freedom to further explore their situation and concerns and, for lack of better words, leaves them ‘the space’ to do so.

One more thing:

When people share important things about their lives there are usually very strong emotional components driving the need to have the conversation.

By simply listening you are validating their feelings. 

Put another way, in many cases people just want the opportunity to tell someone about their situation.

By simply listening, you are giving them the opportunity to objectify their situation by talking about it. 

This often brings a clarity that is very difficult, if not impossible to get to by any other means.

We are all experts about ourselves.

As M. K. Gandhi so eloquently put it. “Respect is the minimum expression of love.”

Leaving people in freedom to be themselves and figure things out on their own is one of the best ways to demonstrate your confidence in them.

A coaching / therapist axiom comes to mind:

“Never do for a Client, what they can do for themselves.”

Some times the best way to support someone is to simply listen, ask questions to understand (if necessary) and express your confidence in them.

We all want to be seen as competent people who are in control of our lives.

I sincerely hope that you found this post inspiring and useful.

I invite you to support our community by posting a comment or question on my blog.

I am here if you need me.

See you next week.

Live, connect, love and prosper

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3 Comments »

Comment by Bill
April 29, 2014 @ 6:38 am

This is a practical guide for me to be with others—Thank you—Bill


Comment by Ron
July 22, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

Dear Friend,
I have been blogging since 2010. I am also working on two books that I will offering through my site. Thanks for your comment. Warmly, Ron Capocelli


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