This is the question that my clients often ask me during our work. What are the signs of emotional disconnection? What can you do in order to reconnect emotionally with your partner, kids or parents? Is it even possible to get out of that old pattern of communication that doesn’t go anywhere? Yes, you can definitely reconnect emotionally with people around us, and the first step is to reconnect with yourself.
Did your parents tell you that ‘you have to be nice to people’? Did they show their own emotions? Were they nice to strangers but were lashing out to family members? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you probably grew up in an environment where emotions were considered a weakness so they should be suppressed.
It’s a good tactic to survive but we live in a different world now and as an adult, you have to heal that disconnection because no matter how much you love and care for someone, you won’t experience a deep love till you reconnect emotionally with yourself. Your heart will stay closed.
We feel comfortable around people who smile genuinely. We just feel that whose smiles are a reflection of their true happiness. There are others though who ‘wear’ those smiles all the time. No matter what you say, they always respond positively. It seems they didn’t even hear what you said, the response is always ‘oh, that’s great’. Look at the picture for this post. This is a staged photoshoot, but how often we see those radiant smiles, but not believing them. We intuitively sense the dissonance. We cringe when someone is using the words “terrific”, “fantastic”, “exquisite” describing mundane things.
Of course, a positive attitude is great. But it’s also important to realize that we are given a range of emotions for a reason. From an attachment perspective, which describes the connection with others as our primary need, emotions help us to bond with other people. If we pretend everything is ok, people just won’t even bother to ask further and we push peopleI remember a friend who rejected all my attempts to help her while she was in a hospital. I offered her to walk a dog or help with errands. She just ‘didn’t want to bother me’. We never really became friends. We lost an opportunity to bond.
I believe that our connections with others deepen when we go through a rough time together. As social creatures, we are designed to connect and support each other. It’s important to share our troubles with others, especially with our friends and family members.