How to Emotionally Connect With Your Ex (The Right Way)

Some of you have left me comments and others have contacted me directly to tell me that you are following my advice on “emotionally connecting”, but it’s not working.

In the few one-on-one conversations about how to emotionally connect with an ex, I may have zeroed on why the advice doesn’t seem to be working.

1. You are sharing links of what you think your ex might like (or in my own words “is already emotionally invested in”), but that’s all you are doing.

2. You are talking about topics and asking questions that your ex has no interest having a conversation about.

3. You are trying to be “positive and cheerful” with an ex who is angry because they feel wronged in some way.

4. You are not present in the moment because you are busy thinking “how is my ex feeling about me” and/or reading interest signals that aren’t there.

5. You are not attuned, aware or present with of your own emotions and they are getting in the way of emotionally connecting with your ex.

No, 5 is probably the most damaging, simply because break-ups stir a whole stew of intense emotions. Some desired and welcome, and some not. The undesired emotions unfortunately are the strongest and loudest

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 you are communicating your emotions 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 people react to them negatively even when they are saying or doing “positive” things or saying nice 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 (read: does not feel safe with me”).

Clue: There is a conflict between your words and actions, and the “e(nergy) in motion” your ex is picking up.

If you are truly serious about learning how to emotionally connect, next time you receive a text or email from your ex, don’t immediately hit reply. Ask yourself “what emotion is my ex communicating or trying to communicate?”

Don’t assume you know, try to really be present and feel their emotion as though it was your own emotion. See if you can feel it in your body. This is called emotional empathy. If you can’t feel it in your body, try to think of what they might have been thinking when they sent you the text. This is called cognitive empathy, or perspective taking.

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 or communicating.

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 in a way that validates their experience. If they seem down, hold the space for them to feel listened to and heard. If you do this and get the emotion right, and if you are able to communicate how they feel back to them in away that they can feel that you truly feel how they feel, you will be always, always emotionally connect.

If you are communicating information about what’s going on in your life, before you hit “send”, ask yourself yourself these 3 questions:

1. 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?

2. Does my text adequately communicate the emotion I am feeling?

If you are not saying how you try feel, you are leaving it to your ex’s interpretation (and we all know how a misinterpretation of what you are saying can make things go sideways very fast)

3. How will this (text) make my ex feel?

Who we are emotionally attracted to boils down to one thing and one thing only: “How they make us feel”. The assumption is that your ex will pick up your emotion and feel it like it was their own. How do you think you are making them feel?

Related: What Is Emotional Connection And Why Does It Matter?

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