Providing Emotional Support

Treat others as they want to be treated

What’s empathy have to do with it?

Emotional support is a fundamental form of communication, basic to the human experience and pervasive in everyday life. At its center is empathy, the capacity to recognize and share feelings that are being experienced by another. Empathy is the foundation of good two-way communication and is an important determinant of satisfaction within relationships. It is not surprising that those who value emotional support skills and are adept at providing it tend to be popular, satisfying relationship partners. Being empathetic is seeing from another person’s perspective regardless of your own opinion or belief. It is the ability to share their excitement in times of achievement, to offer encouragement in times of difficulty and safety in times of failure. It is through shared empathy that we develop trust and intimacy.

 Value follows energy

Attention is the means by which you give something or someone importance in your life. Indiscriminate, undirected attention can become ineffectual or oppressive depending upon circumstance. Everyone knows this instinctively, but few act on it consciously. Attention doesn’t have to be continuous either, in fact a single segment of 20-minutes of undivided attention per day with your partner can have significant positive impact on the quality and intimacy of your relationship and is often only what they need or desire.

 What lips do not speak, the hands convey…

Emotional support comes in a variety of shapes and forms, but one of the most effective is role of touching. Sadly most people are touch starved. The world of touch is where intimacy, love and sex all come together. Holding hands, walking arm in arm and cuddling are just some of the simpler ways we share this powerful experience, but couples forget that it is a distinct essential need and desire. Learn to naturally express your sentiments via touching your partner on a regular basis, not just to sexually stimulate your partner into arousal.

 Emotional failure

Much of the emotional support received in everyday life addresses ordinary upsets, distresses, and hurts, which might not appear to have significant or lasting impact on most people, yet substantial evidence shows that these minor events are major determinants of moods and psychological well-being. However as a skill set emotional support can be beneficial or it can be detrimental, as poor-quality emotional support exacerbates an already stressful situation. Men typically fail at the basic level of providing emotional support due to a lack of understanding, poor empathy, misallocation of focus, attention or outside distraction, and are unskilled or inexperienced in the art of emotional touch, that can lead to emotional nurturing and healing. Often this is compounded by gender roles as men who are taught to lead, protect and to provide, do just that when their partner is truly in search of compassion and understanding, not resolutions.

 The White Knight Syndrome

In an effort to help their partners cope effectively with an emotional distress men will try to resolve the issue themselves by providing for the woman directly. While this may indeed solve the immediate issue at hand, it is a woeful practice, as it undermines your partner’s self-respect and self-esteem, leaving them beholden to you, rather than developing their own sense of achievement and success, by resolving their issues themselves. Doing so often promotes not only natural jealousy in reflection of it, but a simmering seething resentment at their own failures to cope that will ultimately get re-directed at you. Nowhere is this more apparent than when it centers on finances and her sense of identity as a self-supporting adult. This goes double for a woman who’s been cultured to feel self-entitled, special and privileged, as much of the American ala carte feminist princess-class is today. This is due to the fact that there is a lot of fear, shame and self-contempt involved in needing assistance and it underscores the nature of her reality, especially in regards to sex roles. No one likes to be shown to be inferior to their own sense of self-ideals. In the action to help resolve an issue, you’re also destroying someone’s self-esteem by tearing down their self-illusions. When the generosity is repeated enough that it underscores a severe imbalance within the relationship, you promote co-dependence and risk infantilizing your partner, by becoming her father. That is a relationship structure for which she will surely react to sooner or later, and for a woman with low self-esteem, there is no better elixir than gratification and validation that comes with spreading herself wantonly for new cock who ‘gets her’. It is far better to act as a friend, guide and part of her support network, to coach and mentor her through the issue at hand, than to provide for her directly.

 The emotional tight rope

Emotional support are the skills used to make your partner feel valued, safe and understood. They are the tools utilized to help lift someone to higher ground, so they can see their way through their difficulties themselves and develop a healthy earned sense of self-esteem, self-respect and self-concept of themselves, by becoming self-competent. Successfully providing emotional support is determining the right chemistry, of balancing too little emotional attachment with too much involvement. It’s about finding the sweet spot that your partner needs for connectedness and interdependence.