Why Should You Create Emotional Connections with People?

November 13, 2015 Published by

In modern society, with increasing amounts of communication occurring via screens rather than in person, it has never been more important to develop emotional literacy skills to enable us to function effectively in all aspects of our  lives. As with all things, the younger we learn the skills the easier the lesson, which is why playing games that improve emotional skills and help establish these important connections are so vital.

Emotional connections pave the way for empathy and mutually rewarding relationships.  Without them we are unable to form lasting friendships or successful intimate relationships. In addition, an emotional connection is important in many professions – not just the caring careers such as nursing but anything from a sales person to a teacher, politician, actor or indeed anyone in a managerial position – they all require some form of emotional connection with patients, students, audiences or employees.

It is very difficult to express an emotion effectively via digital communication as much of our emotional data is interpreted via non-verbal cues such as tone of voice, body language or facial expression.  The context of the situation also plays a part and is absent from communication such as email or texts where the sender and receiver are apart and have no idea of the mood, environment or timings of the receipt/recipient.

Communicating, even through digital forums, is much more successful when there is an emotional connection. Such a connection is so much easier to develop person to person, so whilst these relationships are developing, try using FaceTime or Skype-style methods of communicating.  Where possible always forge authentic emotional connections in person before communicating via other methods. Once an emotional connection is made, it offers some protection against mis-interpretation of the less personal text or emails as you have the understanding/empathic relationship already established the recipient is better equipped to accurately interpret the sender’s meaning and intentions behind the communication.

Developing and maintaining emotional connections as a child helps protect against a raft of mental health issues in adult life as mutually rewarding relationships can act as a buffer against depression, anxiety and many other conditions. The key is for these emotional connections to be mutually rewarding and not formed out of unhealthy factors such as fear, power imbalance or dependency. The emotional connection alone is not enough, , it needs to be a positive connection to provide the benefits described above.


 

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Games such as Sussed! help promote conversations and humour, which are great ways for both friends and families to improve their communication and keep those important channels open throughout childhood and into adult life. They can also be a great way for all involved to have fun getting to know each other better in the process!


Top 5 reasons why it’s important to create emotional connections with people

There are lots of ways to help children, young people and even adults improve their ability to form healthy, positive emotional connections. Here are 5 things to try.

  1. Talk about your feelings – not in a ‘here’s-my-life-story’ kind of way, but label your emotions and explain when something has made you feel happy, sad, angry or excited. Increasing the frequency of these words into your language  helps others connect with you
  2. Be genuine – it sounds easy but sometimes we are so busy trying to portray a particular version of ourselves to the outside world that we are not true to our own feelings and emotions, this makes it almost impossible for anyone else to connect with  us.
  3. Create shared memories – it doesn’t really matter what, how or when, but shared experiences provide an opportunity for emotional connections and the phrase “remember when we….” is powerful in bonding people together.
  4. Play – the laughter and sheer silliness of playing is such a positive emotional experience that connections happen without even thinking about it.
  5. Listen – an emotional connection is a two way street – make sure you listen to and hear what the other person is saying

 


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This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer

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