You Get Me!

March 2014 Newsletter

Dr. gloria wright

In Irene Claremont de Castillejo’s book, Knowing Woman, she writes about truly “meeting” people.

It happens when a person is fully engaged, transparent and authentic. They are not just talking, but talking to you. Both parties are being deeply heard. You can be in a surrounding with other people, but your energy is focused on each other. It’s as if the rest of the world fades into the background.

This occurrence can happen with total strangers. You can be on a plane and not even know a person’s name or where they are from. Then you hear, “I don’t know why I’m talking about this. I don’t usually share this with anyone.” It’s as if the social barriers are suspended and there is a vulnerability, a lifting of the veils. A true connection.

Dr. Larkin, from Applied NeuroScience Institute, refers to this experience as brain coupling. Dr. Larkin says that one of the significant parts of this connection is the release of oxytocin, a neuropeptide that used to be called the “cuddle hormone.” Oxytocin is released when we make real, authentic connections with others. It’s connecting heart-to-heart, not just head-to-head. You can’t get this connection through texting or emailing.

Most of us crave this experience. With all the technology today, we’re bombarded with the exchange of info, but rarely do we feel that others really get us and truly understand us. For this to happen we need to go beyond mirroring or reflective listening. To move toward true understanding, you have to come from empathy. You don’t just reflect what they’ve said, but move into a deeper place and reflect back more than they are saying and connect to how they are feeling. You connect to them through your own experience and expand from that place.

When a colleague gets a promotion or recognition from a project they’re working on, congratulations is nice. But when you can say, “You must feel great, like you won the lottery. You must be so excited. I know you are proud of your accomplishments and even a little shy and humble about all the recognition. Soak up all the accolades and enjoy! Let’s go to lunch. I’m buying. I want the longer version. Tell me all about what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling. I’m so happy for you! Way to go….”

Dr. Larkin talks about blabbling – just talking, from your head, not your heart. You may be talking about feelings, but not connecting on the feeling level. I think it’s when we have quieted the internal brain’s blabbling and suspend judgement, that we are able to be fully present and connect to others. When we have our own worries and preoccupations on our mind, we are not fully present. We’re not just talking out of our heads, but from our feelings. We are connected to ourselves, therefore we can connect to others.

When this happens, it is indeed a wonder. Time seems to stand still. To know and be known, if only for a brief time, is a wonderful, warm experience.