Why Should You Create Emotional Connections with People?
With the vast availability of methods of communication available today, it has never been easier (and more accessible!) to communicate with other people worldwide.
However, this means an increasing amount of our communication is happening via screens rather than in person. It is important to make sure we are still developing emotional literacy skills which help us to function effectively in all areas of our lives.
As with all things, the younger we start learning these skills, the easier the lesson! A great way to introduce these skills is through play, and games that improve emotional skills and help establish connections are great.
How to help your child create emotional connections through play
Games such as Sussed! help to promote conversation, which is a great way for friends and families to improve their communication and get to know each other better. Establishing open and honest communication is important throughout childhood and into adult life.
Toys like Worry Eaters also encourage children to express their feelings and worries. They can write them down on a piece of paper and then feed them into the mouth of their soft toy ‘Worry Eater’. This encourages them to identify emotions and share them and provides an opening for you as a parent to discuss with them.
Why are emotional connections important?
Through emotional connections, we learn to empathise with others and build lasting relationships with them. Developing and maintaining emotional connections as a child also helps to protect against a range of mental health issues in adult life. This is because mutually rewarding relationships can act as a buffer against depression, anxiety and many other conditions.
In addition, having emotional skills is important in many jobs – not just caring careers such as nursing but anything from a salesperson to a teacher, politician, actor or indeed anyone in a managerial position. They all require some form of emotional connection with patients, students, audience or employees.
Although digital communication is very convenient, it can be difficult to express emotion effectively this way. For example, have you ever had a sarcastic joke lost in translation over text or email? Since non-verbal cues like tone of voice, body language and facial expressions are so important in processing emotions, this can easily happen when there is a lack of face to face contact!
5 ways 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:
- 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 to connect with you.
- 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, which makes it difficult for others to connect with us.
- Create shared memories – it doesn’t really matter what, how, or when, but shared experiences provide an opportunity for emotional connections. The phrase “remember when we…” is powerful in bonding people together.
- Play – the laughter and sheer silliness of playing is such a positive emotional experience that connections happen without even thinking about it.
- Listen – an emotional connection is a two-way street – make sure you listen to and hear what someone is saying to you.
It has never been so important to encourage our children to create real, tangible emotional ties. Forming emotional connections is not just important for functioning in our everyday lives but also for our all-round wellbeing.
Updated: 15/01/20Tags: card games, communication, sponsored article, sussed
This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer