Finding Time to Connect Emotionally

By ruth | November 11, 2013

If you’re feeling down or drained, it’s time to focus on what EQD calls “refueling” or “recharging” yourself—especially during this hectic time of year.  Often, we spend hours on the computer for work and for fun, as well as on our smart phones.  The time we spend staring at these screens keeps us from building connections with the people and pets around us.  A recent study published by Quartz at qz.com provided stunning data on the number of minutes we spend on the computer rather than with friends and family.  For 2011, the average American only spent 37 minutes a day “socializing with people offline.”  

This means we’re not getting the most out of our relationships.  Building more time into your schedule for face-to-face interactions can increase the amount of “high-octane fuel” available in your life.  This could include spending time with a close friend who makes you laugh a lot or asking for hugs when you need them from your loved ones.  These emotional connections can energize and inspire us!  

Staring at a screen is often draining not only for your computer battery but also for you emotionally and physically.  Since your computer screen does not blink at you, we tend to blink less when we are looking at screens.  Many of us have dry eyes as a result.  Also, if we don’t make time to build real emotional connections, we are more likely to get overwhelmed or somaticize, which can lead to more headaches or muscle pain.  I’d much rather ask for more hugs now than get stressed out and end up with a cold in a couple of months!  It’s all about prevention.

Don’t forget to:

  •  Schedule time for real play dates.
  • Set up a weekly or monthly lunch date with a cherished friend.
  • Ask for hugs when you need them from friends and family.
  • Remember that social media connections are less powerful than emotional connections with people you can touch. 


Contributed by Alicia Nimonkar,  

Editor and Writer with Accepted.com, Certified Trainer with Equilibrium Dynamics

Attacking the Issues

By melissa | October 06, 2013

One of the most complex aspects of our lives involves our interactions with other people—our relationships.  Inevitably, disagreements or conflicts arise when we do not share an opinion or agree on an approach to a mutual objective—like sharing the control and influence needed to govern the United States.  

For three days, our government has been shut down in a political stalemate.  Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid openly “accused” the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, of agreeing and then later changing his mind about letting the House vote on a new budget because he is worried about losing the support of his party.  While Reid may have a valid point, his approach is unlikely to resolve the conflict. 

How many times have you encountered a similar situation in your life?  When a partner or family member resorts to personal attacks, how often has that been provoked by your refusal to allow a discussion or decision to be made about an issue?    

Accusations can only polarize the participants in a conflict by forcing them to take a “right or wrong” perspective.  This is especially true when an accusation is made public—the stakes become higher to prove that you are right and that the other person is wrong when there is an audience.  By creating a winner or loser for the outcome of the situation, the conflict has been transformed into a competition—essentially engaging more intense emotional responses for all involved.  More people are insulted, offended or hurt and therefore, more reparations will be required later, if the relationship survives the conflict.   

In identifying and addressing conflicts, there are helpful ways to find resolutions.  By observing the issues at hand and the other parties involved, we can distance ourselves from the need to judge the situation.  Gaining a sense of perspective can be helpful in constructing an appropriate response or compromise.

Conflict resolution doesn’t always mean agreement.  You may encounter situations in your life when there is enough space to allow both sets of values or opinions to operate simultaneously.

For our current government conflict, negotiating a win-win outcome appears highly problematic because there is a difference in values that each party holds.  The easy solution, agreeing to disagree would only allow the stalemate to continue in this specific example, so it is not an option in this case. If both parties involved in this conflict could shift their focus onto finding something they did agree on, perhaps their legislative creativity or the cost of the shutdown then they may be able to identify a common goal. 

At present, the common goal to vote on a budget that will allow people to return to work has been eclipsed by conflict over the health care legislation. This situation is similar to children who hate to lose and therefore, confiscate the ball so that nobody can play until they get their way. 

Scheduling meetings to facilitate a compromise, face-to-face with skilled mediators, would be a more useful problem-solving approach than to make public accusations, which detract from the two issues at hand.  Politicians and litigators are trained to advocate for one point of view, rather than to take a big picture perspective to find a win-win solution.  If the ball or budget is not put back into play, there will be no game or government at all to fight over if the stalemate continues indefinitely.   

In conflict resolution:

  • Distance yourself from the need to judge the situation—this can help clear your vision to construct a helpful response or compromise.
  • Avoid accusations that force people into a right or wrong standpoint. Creating a ‘winner or loser’ situation makes resolution more difficult.
  • Remember conflict resolution doesn’t always mean agreement--a respectful agreement to disagree is also a resolution if it allows you to work together in other areas that you do agree on.
  • Focus on finding a win-win outcome for all parties involved.

By Alicia Nimonkar,
Editor and Writer with Accepted.com, Certified Trainer with Equilibrium Dynamics