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Emotional Connection By Inika Khosla

Overcoming the romanticised notion of an emotional connection that can only exist between two individuals who are involved in a relationship, I find the need to address what essentially an emotional connection is. 

An emotional connection in all simplicity is the combination of various subjective feelings which often leave us feeling anything from joy to love to sorrow. However varied these emotions may be, they help us feel that much closer to the other person, therein creating a bond or link which we term an emotional connection. Thus, one doesn’t need to experience this only with their significant other as other articles might motivate you to believe. And yet one might argue, why do we need this connection? Isn’t it almost the same as being close to someone? I don’t necessarily need to feel a certain way to determine whether or not this individual and I share a connection. The answer to your question, Yes. You don’t need to feel a certain way at all, and yet almost anyone I ask has this lingering feeling that they are unable to explain why they feel so comfortable around one another. Some claim it may be due to the amount of time they’ve spent together and yet others struggle to answer. So why do we need this connection? Or rather why do we find the need to define this connection? Well in our half-virtual, half-face-to-face world, it becomes almost impossible to detect emotion through virtual modes. This emotion, therefore, deprives us of any connection we might try to establish which leads to disengagement and most probably isolation. Being active participants of this new world, we’ve all experienced the difficulty of making connections through ‘zoom’ calls and therefore further plunge ourselves deeper down the rabbit hole of ‘socially disconnected’. We can’t physically be there with those we care about as virtual communication requires many to make that extra effort to feel just a little more humane- and therefore find the need to seek some comfort in our existing connections. These connections differ from our parents, significant others, friends or even our pets.

So how does one establish such a connection? How do we go beyond the simple phrase of being and experience our emotions around our connections? 

Empathy

One of the best ways to establish a connection with another is by being empathetic. By being able to understand their emotional needs and at times prioritising their needs beyond our own goes a long way in cementing an emotional connection. Here, however, I make it quite clear that prioritising their needs before your own isn’t a habit one must take forth, as placing yourself secondary over another would make it that much harder to be emotionally available for another. Therefore, understanding when to prioritise their needs is a key factor. 

Emotional unavailability

Adding from the first point, if one is unable to process and therein unable to understand their own emotions can be a huge determinant in creating an emotional connection. Instead of pushing yourself to understand and create a bond with another, it becomes far more important to first understand yourself. The greater one’s ability to identify their range of emotions, the easier it becomes to establish the core for an emotional connection. 

Validating their feelings

It's easy to lose track of what one might be feeling in our fast pace world. As we’re sucked into the world of virtual reality, it isn’t uncommon to often feel numb or overcome by our emotions as we’re unable to make sense of this. At this point, we all need someone to validate our feelings to bring some assurance that what we’re feeling isn’t unusual. By a gesture of compassion by one, it can simply show the other person that we consider their feelings to be important even if they aren’t able to make sense of them at this given point in time. Once they're able to feel understood, it becomes easier to communicate with them and make sense of what they might have been feeling. 

It's easy to sit behind a computer and tell you the importance of emotional connections before I log into a zoom meeting myself. And yet, till we become aware of these connections in our lives it will become almost impossible to know and accept our emotional state. So as we disconnect from the internet today, I urge you to connect with someone today, make them feel validated and accepted and maybe see the reciprocal your way?