“Man,” teaches Science, “is but a single cell in the organism of humanity. His worth
as an individual is nothing apart from the rest of the organism.”
P. Lakshmi Narasu – “The Essence of Buddhism”
We live our lives in relationships. Shy or outgoing, rich or poor, famous or obscure
– whoever we are, without connection, we are empty. Our interactions thrum with
rhythm. From the moment of conception to the end of life, we each engage in a unique
dance of connection. The themes and steps are shared by all humanity. They vary
only in details and flourishes across culture, race, gender, and historical time.
But they are inevitably shaped by those around us.
... self-worth [is] affirmed and strengthened in friendships ...
... love is physiologically designed to conquer fear.
... there is an antidote even to uncontrollable stress ... and that, of course, is
the kindness of others, the nurturing contact that is designed to put the brakes
on the chemistry of fear and threat.
Maia Szalavitz and Bruce D Perry MD, PhD – “Born for Love”
But don’t be like this:
The more you give me, the less I get.
Connectedness is the best thing in the world. It makes us feel better about everything.
Close, favourable contact with a loved one reduces our sensitivity to pain.
Social attachment serves intrinsically important regulatory functions of security,
nurturing, and distress alleviation.
Jean Decety – “The Neuroevolution of Empathy”
sometimes I yearn to see Mary's kind brown eyes.
Her gaze always had a soothing effect on me.
Elif Shafak – “The Forty Rules of Love”
Man wishes to be confirmed in his being by man, and wishes to have a presence in
the being of the other...
Secretly and bashfully he watches for a YES which allows him to be and which can
come to him only from one human person to another.
Martin Buber – “I and Thou”
Research shows that women who are smiled at experience boosts in their self-confidence.
msn.com – “49 Ways to Boost Your Confidence in 5 Minutes or Less #11”
wellbeing comes from feeling connected, included, accepted and valued by others.
Paul Gilbert, Kirsten McEwan, Rebecca Bellew, Alison Mills and Corinne Gale – “The
dark side of competition: How competitive behaviour and striving to avoid inferiority
are linked to depression, anxiety, stress and self-harm”: Psychology and Psychotherapy:
Theory, Research and Practice (2009), 82, 123–136
To connect with another person, you have to “see” that person, there has to be a
channel of reality or honesty. Imposing your mind on someone is not seeing or connecting
with them. Relax your ego, relax and connect.
If someone is nervous or upset, then talking to them, having a pleasant conversation,
can calm them down.
It is said that men talk in order to report information, and women talk in order
to build bonds and connectedness. But there’s nothing to stop men using conversation
in the same way that women typically do.
The most difficult part of listening is to learn [when] to leave other people alone.
Consolation among chimpanzees: A juvenile puts an arm around a screaming adult male,
who has just been defeated in a fight with his rival. Consolation probably reflects
empathy, as the objective of the consoler seems to be to alleviate the distress of
People’s distress needs to be listened to and acknowledged. People need to be allowed
to tell their story. When someone’s needs are met in this way, then they feel free
to be empathetic towards others.
When our needs are met in general, it is easier to relax the self-protective function
of the ego, and therefore to expand it to include the needs of others.
In a time of illness, it is good to be loved.
Family cheering up old Grandfather while he is lying sick in bed.