“Emotional connection” would be to take a few moments and ACTUALLY FEEL whatever emotion your ex is feeling and respond in a way that your ex feels, “you FEEL what I feel”.
Some people are naturals at this, and over the years working with people from almost every curve of the world, I have found that the majority of people from “collective cultures” and people who were raised by “emotionally-aware” parents are especially good at “emotional connection”. They are are always emotionally present and “other-aware” and as a result feeling the emotion someone else feels comes easy and naturally.
People from “individualistic cultures” tend to struggle with ’emotional connection’ because they put themselves at the center of (and sometimes dominate) conversations and experiences, and as a result fail to pick-up what the other person is feeling, or feel what they feel. They think they are “connecting”, but the reality is that they are “just communicating” at best, and talking to themselves at worst.
Here’s the thing about emotions that you may not be aware of. They are “e(nergy) in motion”. Meaning, every time you send a text or email, speak on the phone or face-to-face, an emotion is being communicated whether you are aware of it or not.
It’s surprising just how many people are not even aware that how they feel is constantly being broadcast (as energy). They are genuinely confused that the people react to them negatively even when they are saying or doing “positive” things. Some are like, “I am nice to him, I don’t know why he responds angrily!” or “I acted happy and carefree, he still will not open up”.
Clue: Conflict between your words and actions, and the “e(nergy) in motion” your ex is picking up (see my article: Why Your Ex Is Being Too Nice All Of A Sudden”
I tell my clients learning to emotionally connect:
When you receive a text or email from your ex, don’t immediately hit reply before you know what emotion your ex is communicating or trying to communicate. Don’t assume you know, try to really be present and feel their emotion.
And this is very important: Don’t read into it what you want it to be. The danger with over reading into other people’s communications is that you get caught up in your own thoughts and emotions, and miss what the other person is ACTUALLY FEELING.
Take a few minutes to reflect on what they must have been feeling when they sent the text. Again, do not read into it what you want to it to be, but what is actually felt and communicated. Ask yourself, “what emotion was being felt when this text/email was written?”.
Once you have identified the emotion, respond to that emotion. If they are excited, share their excitement If the seem down, hold the space for them to feel listen to and heard. If you do this and get the emotion right, you will be always, always emotionally connect. If you have my Dating Your Ex eBook, refer to “bids for emotional connection”.
If you are communicating information about what’s going on in your life, before you hit “send”, ask yourself, “What emotion am I feeling?”. If you can’t accurately articulate your own emotions, how do you expect your ex to pick up the emotion you are communicating? Next, ask yourself, “Does my text/email adequately communicate the emotion I feel?”. Third, “how will this make my ex feel?”