We live pending or not so much, to find, build or maintain those links that elevate us so much or crash us. Entering gloomy places, when negative dynamics, stagnation or loss settle in our dearest bonds. Or enjoying deeply in the periods of loving and safe encounter.
Why do we spend so much time and energy on this area of our life: love relationships?
First of all because we are connection mammals by nature and our genetics pushes us to integrate with others for a better survival and adaptation to life, as Charles Darwin argued. Secondly, it has been verified from the studies of Dr. John Bowlby and Harry Harlow that affection in its purest and most literal sense is a fundamental need of children. Today, we know that adults also need secure and satisfactory bonds to live according to scientific evidence. However, the development of the adult attachment bond may be based more on reciprocity and less on physical contact as in childhood. However, the origin of the emotional need is the same.
To which is added the study that has taken more years in the history of research, on what makes people happier and healthier throughout life. Made at Harvard University, for 75 years. This reveals that it is not having money or success that gives us the most happiness, but rather having close, satisfying and stable relationships with close people.
The longing to feel deeply connected to someone is a primal need. It implies having the sensation in the body that I have at least one person in my life. And it is activated even more, under situations of threat or danger. There, we seek emotional regulation and the safe haven in that bond.
What are the universal attachment needs in relationships?:
- To be accepted, in what we are, how we feel and think (not to be judged or criticized)
- You are welcome
- Being recognized (prioritized, registered, taken into account, remembered, considered, appreciated)
- Being cared for (that we have a safe haven to go to when necessary)
- Be calm (and be able to regulate emotions better if we need it)
- Feeling security (that I have a secure base, that this relationship gives me to go out and explore the world)
What can we expect to take advantage of our brain's resources?
The functioning of the "mirror neuron" of our brain, the basis of EMPATHY, allows us to tune in to the other's emotional states but we do not use it to our advantage. We overlook it or do not take advantage of it (sometimes due to our basic style of affective functioning, others due to ignorance, inattention or carelessness). It is one of the keys to give EMOTIONAL RESPONSE to the other when TRIES TO CONNECT WITH US. Those are the decisive moments in which we need to be ATTENTION to TUNE, that's where the game of a relationship is played for it to work. In our ABILITY TO TUNE EMOTIONALLY with our partner.
What is emotionally attuned?
It means being aware that this approach requires:
- Be accessible (be available, willing to receive the other lovingly, without judging or criticizing, without wanting to solve the problem),
- Be able to hear him/her
- Respond emotionally (to what the other feels or asks me, no matter how incomprehensible or incoherent it may seem to me) and
- Being committed to the relationship (being able to say: “whatever happens I am not going to get out of this relationship and I am not going to leave the other person alone”).
It is a great challenge and a great gift, to be able to live in emotional harmony. Thus promoting the development of a safe haven and a solid foundation that creates: stability, happiness in the life of the couple and all family members. Let's get to work, there's a lot to do!
By Lic.Ps.Sybila Latorre