Fairy tales and Disney movies have, for a long time, been telling stories of children who learn to fend for themselves and find aid from characters such as elves, animals and other forest creatures.
These stories are popular because they touch a common chord of feeling emotional loneliness and longing for a deeper connection with people. Their parents or friends are often not able or willing to engage or connect as needed. It’s common to feel unseen and unknown by someone we want to be close to, but less common is the understanding that self-awareness can help reverse the feelings of isolation.
Emotional intimacy involves knowing that you have someone you can go to with all of your feelings, about anything and everything. It is a profound sense of being seen for who you really are without judgement. This type of security requires genuine emotional interaction that not everyone is comfortable with. It takes self-awareness for people to be comfortable with their own feelings, as well as those of other people. There are some relationships where someone can’t give enough emotional connection, because they are uncomfortable with their own emotional needs and have no idea how to offer support on an emotional level.
If you are on the side of trying to connect with a person that doesn’t seem to relate emotionally, try these three approaches to change your expectations.
- Detach and Observe. When interacting with this person observe their behavior as an outsider without the goal of having a satisfying emotional exchange.
- Determine if the other person is able to relate.
- Express and then let go. Tell the other person what you want in a calm and non-judgmental way. Enjoy the act of self-expression, but release the need for the other person to hear you, change or validate what you said.