our everyday life

How to Connect Emotionally With People

by Kristen Moutria

The ability to connect with our fellow human beings is one of the most important and aspects of our humanity, according to Dr. John Cacippo, Tiffany and Margaret Blake distinguished service professor at the University of Chicago. Creating emotional connections with people -- whether they are your coworkers, friends, family members or a potential romantic partner -- is an important part of a well-rounded life. Our interactions with others are fundamental to who we are, and building connections should be enjoyable and effortless.

Find Your Type of People

You may feel pressured to become more social in order to build emotional connections with people, but you might only need a couple of close friends who enjoy intimate friendship. Dr. Peter D. Kramer reports on "Oprah" that often, one or two close relationships can be enough for to allow you to thrive. Innate temperament, he explains, means that certain people are born introverted, and can enjoy fulfilling relationships with a close few. Finding the kind of people you personally enjoy being around will help you build emotional connections.

Share Secrets

Sunny Gold reports in "Scientific American" that sharing secrets can make your friend feel like you trust and value her. Self-disclosing, or sharing an intimate part of yourself with someone else, can help build your relationship as well as demonstrate trust in one another. Peter DeScioli is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, and he explains that the "alliance" friendship theory is based on the idea that you will be well liked among individuals in your social circle if they feel like you count them among your closest friends. Sharing secrets helps others feel important and well-liked.

Give Undivided Attention

If you want to build emotional rapport with someone, pay attention, according to life coach W. Todd Smith. He warns against using electronic devices when you are speaking with someone, and encourages you to maintain eye contact. He claims that there is no better way to demonstrate interest in someone, on a personal or professional level, than by giving him the gift of undivided attention.

Live in the Moment

Author and eHarmony columnis Christian Carter says men are drawn to women who are able to live fully in the present moment without worrying about the future. Whether or not you are trying to attract a man, living in the moment with someone will help him feel like you are paying attention to his current needs, instead of drifting your attention to a later point in time. By keeping your mindset in the here and now, you allow yourself to be more sensitive to what the person you are communicating with is experiencing, as well as build a more fulfilling emotional connection with him.

About the Author

Kristen Moutria has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Evangel University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska.

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