Many other emotions work in a similar way. You need to feel an emotion before you can make someone else feel it. Neurobiologically this makes sense. The other person receives your verbal and nonverbal communication. It s then decoded in the brain and activates brain centers that specialize in certain emotions, such as anger or love/attachment. Thus if you interact with someone and feel something strongly they will notice it, even if they do not become aware of it. If you remember a time where you were feeling in a particular way, and thereby trigger an emotion, that works as well. So to make someone feel happy you can think of a situation when you were feeling happy yourself, and this feeling then is communicated with the words you say and the gestures you make. It is automatic and you do not even have to be aware of it. But one requirement is that you must feel or have felt genuine happiness to make someone feel happy. It works the same with love. If you feel loved when talking to someone, it is probably because that person is feeling love as well. Or, if you feel angry when listening to someone, the anger could just be about something that upsets you, but it might as well be the other person's anger which is communicated to. Distinguishing among the latter ones depends on how well you know yourself.
In my work I often observed that when people enable themselves to tap into their emotional experiences, communication about their experiences became easier. A good test for you as the listener is to ask yourself whether you are beginning to feel an emotion that is congruent with what the other person is talking about. Do you feel happiness as the other is telling you a happy story? If you can feel that the emotion you are feeling matches the story the other person is telling, it indicates the other person is connecting healthily with his or her emotions and inner feelings. Communication as a whole, whether verbal or nonverbal, is congruent. If they do not match, this could point to an internal conflict, which I have seen again and again in people who were also suffering from anxieties, depression, burn out, and a number of other psychological health problems. If there is an inner conflict, it could mean that people deny the emotions they feel, at least subconsciously, at the moment and which they induce in you. Realizing that the other person is experiencing an inner conflict and learning about yourself can help you sort out what you are really feeling towards this person. Since it is difficult to change someone else, you should start with learning more about yourself. Opening up yourself to this learning process is facilitated by loving yourself.
If you are the person speaking about your feelings, observe if and which emotions you are eliciting in the other person. Even when you talk about a seemingly different topic, the emotions you feel when you interact with someone else are usually communicated as well. So the other person can also mirror you how you really feel. Professionals are quite good at providing this sort of feedback to clients because they are experienced in separating feelings that are unrelated to the client from those which are actually coming from the client. In other instances, you have to develop a sense for which reaction in the other person is a reaction to something you communicated and did and which is a reaction to the other person's own life experiences and memories. Holding them apart takes practice and training.
Opening up oneself can be scary, and I have seen many people who were afraid to let someone else see how they feel inside. The route to letting go of this fear is learning more about yourself. Some may fear that they could be rejected or hurt, or even become dependent on the person they open up to, but this is actually not true if it is really a 'opening up'. Opening up means that you are doing something for yourself without expecting anything else in return except to gain a better understanding of how you feel and interact with the world. Mostly the other person will open up as well, or, in a professional setting, try to help you with the process of opening up.
A person may leave you, but this only has a devastating effect if instead of opening up to the world you only opened up to this one person and no one else. To avoid this from happening, grant your emotions some freedom and do not think in terms of how you must feel, just feel how you really feel about them. The more you know about yourself the more you realize that what you love in them is something you also have inside you. Once you see what you have inside you and at the same time love yourself, you can really love others, and do so from the strength of freedom.
Humans are afraid of emotions in a world that seems so rational. We like to put our emotions in little boxes and attach them firmly to people and events so as to categorize them and create an illusion of control which is really not more than a wish for something that interferes more with one's life than that it helps. Maybe one of the things we are most scared of are the emotions that float freely without being fixated anywhere which could move us to do things that could lead us to losing our finely tuned balance in the world. But movement is really what emotions are all about, a motion without (the 'e' in e-motion). The problem begins when we are afraid of our own emotions. A panic attack, for example, in which someone has the feeling of dying is really a fear of one's own fears. It is not a fear of death, since usually there is no real risk of death, but a fear of a fear of death. Our emotions become fearful when we do not trust them. If you feel love you want to listen into yourself to make sure it is love and not dependence or fear in disguise. But once you did that, grant it the freedom it deserves. Other emotions can also often be dealt quite well with, when you learn to identify and communicate them constructively in interactions with other people and return them to their freedom.
If someone left us why do we continue feeling love? The reason is that love, feeling interpersonal bonds and attachment in a truly magnificent way, is what links us both to ourselves and the world around us. It is the glue in the communication web we live in, and which we need for our survival and happiness. And if, for whatever reason, if one does not feel the power to make someone else feel in a certain way anymore, this can be disturbing. Often people do not have an explanation for it, and begin to look for one, which leads them even further down in a spiral of self-doubts. Don't! The best way to avoid this altogether is to learn about yourself and to love yourself, then you will quickly find someone else again to create mutual feelings of love with. It begins with understanding yourself, because this is far easier to understand someone else, which I can tell you with many years of experience listening to people who tried to crystal gaze someone else. Even the other person may not know what he or she feels, or why, so how could you?
Understanding one's emotions is to tap into an enormous source of power, which can help you persist and continue on your way in situations that are far from ideal. Learning about love is to use one of the greatest forces there is because it is so central to the social networks we live in, and which everything that lives in this world relies on. It means becoming better at decoding the information you receive from your senses and from within your own body because love is the emotion of attachment and bonding. As you are moving closer to those who are sending you messages you become better at interpreting and understanding those messages. When you love your customers or clients, you almost overnight become more successful because you understand them better. What about being your own client?
Many people do not listen anymore. They have become detached from their own bodies and minds. I have worked with many people who learned, sometimes for the first time, how to interpret and understand the signals from their own bodies. A good number of people feel fear, when underneath it there is really excitement. Misinterpreting excitement as fear is something you often see in people suffering from anxieties and panic attacks. Just helping them feel and understand themselves better allowed them to eclipse their fears within a short time. It is the same with love. Many people think they feel love when what they really feel may be a fear of loneliness or anger at their family, or some other dependency generating emotion, which is light years away from love in the real sense. When you really feel love, there is nothing that can hurt you but a force that can make you stronger in personal life or business. You do not have to attach it to anything, but if you truly love those connected to a goal or vision you will not believe the difference it can make in your life.
Loving yourself and then extending it to others may really feel like stepping up to an entirely new level of existence. One problem is that our society applauds those who acquire positive knowledge and then rationally apply it, but we need more of those who can use their experiences to come up with creative and innovative solutions and communicate their experiences as humans in novel forms. Love is always novel and communicates our human experience on this planet better than much else. It lets us build those networks of relationships that let us do awe-inspiring things. Love has a ripple effect. If I feel your love, I can pass on even more, and this is how much of the relationship building happens in the world. A hushed emotion on one side of the world can bring about much needed motivation on the other. It simply starts with tapping into that endless reservoir inside.
We are more likely to give those things which we have experienced ourselves. It is like a writer who can tell a more vivid and believable story if she is writing from her own experiences. Feeling love means not only means opening up yourself to yourself and a significant other, but to the whole world. It strengthens because feeling a deficit inside weakens. Loving yourself is an important first step towards loving others. In order to feel more love one has to open up the communication channels to others. Opening up means integrating oneself into the web of life.
—Interesting books on communication by this and other authors: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21
Suggestions for further exploration: http://www.chrishaverkampf.com & http://www.ivy-experts.com
© 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation and/or the risks warrant it. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners. If this article is marked as a work of fiction all references to persons, living or deceased, or organizations, including former ones, are coincidental. I know that this is reiterating the obvious, but thanks for bearing with me.