How to Build Deep Emotional Connection

yin yang sign

This world desperately needs men and women who can build an emotional connection.

We have an oversupply of people screaming “me, me, me”, craving to be heard, rewarded, “popular”.
These entitled folks do not know how to connect with others.

This leaves millions who are starved for a human connection.
And provides you with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

IF you learn how to bond and connect, you’ll live the social life of a king.
Everyone will want you, men and women.

An example from a friend of mine I bonded with:

“Bro, it’s always awesome to hear from you, so psyched to see you again”. And I felt the same. That’s the beauty of bonding with people

Step-by-step, this is how you develop a deep emotional connection with someone:

1. Start With Vibing

You don’t start going deep right off the bat.

You start vibing first.
Vibing is a mix of both breadth and depth, but prioritizing breadth and light-heartedness.
We might describe vibing as:

Generally upbeat conversation with rapid changes of topics and pace, some deeper-dives, and snippets of important information about oneself.

See “Seduction University” for an example.
But also read here for troubleshooting:

2. Make People Comfortable to Open Up

How do you make people comfortable to open up?

The first and deeper aspect is always character-based.
And then we can add the “techniques”.

Character Development

You want to:

  1. Accept people’s dark side, something we repeat often here, starting with your own dark side
  2. Grow curious of people, beside bonding, you will also learn more and more about people and life
  3. Find pleasure in making people feel accepted and cherished, which automatically makes you accepting of people
  4. Find pleasure in bonding and connecting. Or even more: only accept as friends those who can and also want to go deeper

Techniques

Here is how:

  1. Ask personal questions, the wrong way is to inquire to gather “intel” or “juicy information”. Doing it well means doing naturally. The mindset is that for you it’s normal that close people share personal information
  2. Ask deep question, for example “what do you think of… ” or “how do you feel about that”. They’re one of the best ways to get to know people and are almost as important as personal questions
  3. Listen without judging, pay attention, nod, and match your facial expressions to the content
  4. Share back your own story / experience / feeling, in Arthur Aron’s study, asking and sharing intimate stories made people feel closer and more connected. Sharing back is crucial for win-win frames. Asking only is taking. Sharing back is win-win.
    Best if the content you share back is:
    1. similar topic
    2. similar level of “depth” / vulnerability
    3. similar results
    4. similar feelings you had
  5. Go back to lighter converastion, once people are done sharing and as soon as it’s getting too heavy so you keep it fresh, vibrant, and upbeat
  6. Rinse and repeat

That simple.

Of course, the process takes some social skills and emotional awareness to execute well.

But you can learn it.
And we’ll dig deeper on the most important with examples and further tips.

For example, you want to match your facial expressions to the feelings and mood of your speaking partner and to the story. That shows that you’re attentive, and in sync and in tune.
But to also be an uplifting force, you want to over-match the positive feelings, and under-match the negative ones.

If They Don’t Want to Open Up

In a few cases, people might be uncomfortable with deep questions.

That’s OK.
You might have gone too deep, or it might be too soon and you need to develop more trust and rapport.

If they push back, this is what you do then:

  1. Stay nonplussed, say they’re normal questions for you but you’re cool if they prefer not sharing. Hold the frame that being close for you means going deeper and personal
  2. Answer the question yourself first to show there’s nothing wrong with the topic. That shows that you’re not asking anything you wouldn’t share yourself, resetting the frame from “taking” to “sharing”

If they still dig their heels, it’s possible that you are not comfortable yourself yet, or you are not projecting an aura of sincerity (read the chapter below).
If that’s the case, not all is lost yet.
Step back to “safer” chit-chat and go deeper again later on.

woman with hand up

Internalize That Going Deep is Normal

Creating a deep bond is about leadership.

Leadership, and personal growth as well.

To execute this part correctly, you have to believe in that going deep is how you develop strong and win-win relationships.

Asking and sharing deep topics is the best way to both interact with others, and care about others.

Whenever someone pushes back, you can reply:

What else should we be talking about, the weather outside?
This is how people get to know each, this is what matters to people: personal feelings, dreams and desires, what they truly like and dislike.
Or at least, that’s the only way I see to develop good relationships.

That’s how you hold the frame of reference and acquire power and respect.

Example: How Emotional Connection Looks Like

This is how deep connection looks like at the beginning of a love story:

Her: I always feel this pressure of being a strong and independent icon of womanhood (…) but loving someone and being loved means so much to me
Him: Sometimes I dream about being a good father, a good husband (…) but if I’m really honest with myself I’d rather die knowing that I was really good at something (…) than I just been in a nice and caring relationship

They’re both so emotionally invested.
And that emotional investment is golden.
Plus, they’re probably thinking “my God, I’ve never opened up so much with anyone else”. And they both feel a special connection.

3. (Sub-)Communicate Your Confientiality

The deep sharing in the above example can only happen if:

  1. People trust each other to listen without judging them
  2. People trust each other to keep their stuff private

Sometimes people won’t know your reputation. The cool thing is that simply be being a generally high-quality individual you give off vibes of dependability (including privacy).

More tips to communicate confidentiality:

  1. Say it: a few times some friends started saying somethingwith the preface “I’ve never said this to anyone before”. To which I reply “and if it’s your wish to keep it that way, it will die with me”
  2. Stay cool: over-eager people are untrustoworthy. Act like your world isn’t gonna change either way
  3. Look away more often: this is the nonverbal equivalent of “giving them more space”
  4. Stay silent: the verbal equivalent of giving them more space

Do it like a priest would:

Godfahter: (confesses his sins)
Priest: (looks aways, stays quiet, does not judge him)

4. Alternate Depth and Light-Heartedness

These days, everyone advises to move beyond small talk and “go deep”.

And that’s true.

BUT…

The mistakes that many do -and that certainly I was doing- are:

  1. Always trying to go even deeper
  2. Staying deep for too long, until it feels “too much”

There are two issues with staying too deep too long:

  1. It can feel invasive: People are cautious when first sharing intimidate details. Digging too much can make them feel like they’re over-sharing. So take it easy with very personal details.
  2. It can feel “too grave”: If you stay too deep, too long, at a certain point it feels “too much”. Too serious, too dark, or too grave.
    As someone said “girls want to have fun”. So do guys, for that matter.

When it feels too invasive or “too grave”, the conversation sputters, the “magic” breaks, and neither of you will know how to save it.

You both know that you had some magic for a while… But now it’s gone.

The solution?

  1. Alternate: light-heartedness and “depth”
  2. Keep it light throughout: works better with more easygoing, fun-loving people and to take the edge off very personal questions in early dating

Here’s an example for “keeping it light throughout”:

Him: (with silly voice) Describe your first sexual feelings toward someone

They share very personal stories about themselves and “who they are”, but they do so in a very light and fun-loving fashion.

The Early Emotional Wall: A Great Technique

At 1:33 Hawke sets the stage for later becoming a high-quality man.

See if you can guess why (if not, see “Seduction University”).

5. Joke and Laugh Together

Some people think emotional connection is “deep talk” and childhood traumas.

Not true!

Connection can also be based on mostly joking and laughing.

Laughing releases oxytocin and sub-communicates you share similar personalities. Laughing together, to use the words of an ex-girlfriend of mine, communicates that you “ride the same wave”.

I’d personally still have my moments of more serious talk.
But it’s OK to have 80% of humor and laughter.

Unique Humor Bonds You The Most

As a rule of thumb:

The weirder the humor is, the more you two are bonded.

Laughing watching a comedy together is good, but if you can laugh about the “killer penguin” story you just made up, it’s even more powerful.

The made-up “killer penguin” is a story unique to you two, and that creates the “us bubble”.

Use Politically Incorrect Humor

Politically incorrect humor is also great.

It sub-communicates you two trust each other, are both open-minded, and also creates an “us bubble”.

Sometimes I make it a point of being racier and raw early on indeed: PC is for acquaintances.
The “real” you with all its quirks and kinks is where the real emotional connection takes place.

Of course, please note that not everyone is ready for PC-humor.
So test it early on, and if it doesn’t work, cut it out.

6. Let Them Speak, Don’t Fix Them

Men have a tendency to “fix” things -and people-.

That’s often a mistake when people are opening.
Instead of finding solutions or sharing facts, just let them talk.

See here, and notice the dynamics:

Her: I think I am afraid of death twenty-four hours a day. That’s why I’m on the train. I could have flown to Paris. I’m just afraid of flying.

Did you notice her fear is irrational, makes no sense?
Notice how Ethan Hawke does the opposite of what most men would do.
Such as:

  1. Talking facts, data and “rationality”: people want to be understood and accepted, not schooled on what’s “rational” or “true”
  2. Fixing it: there is a time for teaching. And it’s not right when people open up first
  3. Encouraging: “I believe in you, you can do it”. Please don’t go motivational guru on people. Not right away, at least
  4. Using her vulnerability to look cool: worst of all, some men exploit vulnerability as their chance to social climb, look cooler and do some alpha male posturing.

For example, they might say:

Doofus: Ehehe I love planes instead. The more the turbulence, the more I sleep.
I’m not afraid of death anyway…

Wow, that’s a tough guy right there, eh?
How is she supposed to feel after someone exploits her vulnerability to parade his “superiority”?
She won’t open up again any time soon, and she’d be right.

Notice instead how he is the epitome of full acceptance.
He just says:

Cool unjudgemental guy: I bet

Boom.
That’s the kind of man that makes people feel free to be themselves.

7. Let the Bond Develop Naturally, Don’t Force It

It’s not a sprint.

It’s a marathon.

Trying to force the connection is a common mistake.

Some authors say that to make people fall in love, you have to repeat “me too” as often as possible and as quickly as possible.
Not true.
Just imagine the following:

You: Maybe we can get an ice cream. I love their pistachio ice cream
Her: Me too, I love pistachio!
You: Especially pistachio ice cream with a cone, cones are awesome
Her: Me too, I love cones!

You’d think she either has no personality, or she’s forcing it.
And if a man thinks that, it’s 100x worse for a woman.

Instead, you want to give time to people to come out of their shells and then connect.
Then it will be a deep connection.

Another common mistake forcing a connection is telling people “I know how you feel”.
That can be OK once you know someone or if you have a spectacular connection. But early on, in most cases, don’t tell people you know, it feels stifling. Let them share their feelings.

Plus, it can spectacularly backfire when you misunderstand people.

See here an example:

Godfather: (tells her how she feels instead of asking and letting her)
Her: (thinking to herself “God, he’s so clueless”)

He jumps in early with his own interpretation and builds a castle on wholly wrong foundations.
That was the last straw on the camel’s back: know she knows there is no bond between them.

Indeed, relationship researcher John Gottman says you don’t get any brownie points for “guessing their feelings right” and you should stop any mind-reading efforts. They’ll be grateful you give them the time to do so themselves.

8. Build “Us Bubbles”

I remember a late morning, a few years ago.

Me and a woman who later became my girlfriend were sitting on a bench, in front of a small park.

We were watching kids and dogs running and people walking by.
And we commented and made fun of the world that lay in front of our eyes.
As if we were watching a movie.

This is very powerful.
When you look at the world as if it was you two peeking from a window, you are communicating that’s the world… and here it’s us“.

Little later she blurted out:

Her: It feels as if it’s just the two of us in the world

That was the moment I knew she was falling hopelessly in love.

Example: “Us-Bubble”

Here is a good example from Family Guy:

9. Experience New Things Together

What do you think people are more likely to feel for you:

You have coffee, dinner at a pizza parlor, a walk in the shopping street.

OR:

You do a skywalk, visit a monument for the first time, go to a small restaurant with a cool “wine-tasting” concept.

Notice that “skywalk” is the only “crazy” and out-of-the-ordinary thing in there.
You don’t need to do that the first time you meet someone -but it’s great for later-.
Instead, do the other two first. They are easy. BUT they feel like novel experiences.

People relish new experiences.
People feel alive when having new experiences. And they’ll feel alive with you.
You become a memorable person who brings life in their lives, who makes memories, and who expands their horizons.

That bonds people positively, rather than “just” bonding.

And if you’re a man and lead women in that new experience, then we also have seduction.

9.2 Do Something Crazy and Adventurous

Warning here:

People have different “risk-appetites, and it’s possible that you can overdo “crazy”.

BUT, if you keep it “low intensity”, it works for the vast majority of people.
And if it’s not enough… You can calibrate as you go (or find someone new if they are too crazy for you :).

Doing anything exciting or mildly risky also produces the same chemicals responsible for attraction and infatuation.
It works wonders in romantic settings, but also deepens the bond with same-sex, straight individuals.
This is why soldiers develop a strong camaraderie.

Here is another classic movie (The Dreamers):

Nothing too crazy, but exactly what makes a love story memorable.

10. Label and Cement the Emotional Connection

Cementing makes the frame “stick”.

If I wanted to cement the frame in the example above and get us even closer, I’d have said something like:

Her: It feels as if it’s just the two of us in the world
Me: (pause) Yeah. It feels that way. I think we have a great connection. I’m glad we met

And then maybe kissed her.
That’s properly executed powerful vulnerability.

Why would you do that?

Because emotions are fleeting and when you label emotions, you strengthen them and crystallize them.

Example: Officializing Your Emotional Bond

Again from this wonderful movie:

Him: I wish I had met you earlier, I really like talking to you
Her: Yeah, me too

That’s textbook labeling and cementing guys.
Labeling increases both the power and duration of your emotional connection.

11. Spend a Whole Perfect Day Together

We have so far reviewed several videos from “Before Sunrise”.

And what makes “Before Sunrise” a textbook example of a deep emotional connection is the presence of:

  1. Breadth, with different experiences
  2. Depth, as we reviewed so far
  3. Time, spending the whole day together

Spending lots of time through different venues and environments, it feels like a time distortion field.

It feels both like you’ve just met, and yet like you’ve known each other forever.
Mix all together, and you get an explosive cocktail that makes people think “all of my life, where have you been”.

The fact that you don’t know each other for a long time (or never knew each other so deeply), creates a contrast that is at the basis of “whirlwind romance”.

If you can’t do the whole day, or if you’re just bonding with friends, afternoon to evening also works great.
For example, do first something, then go eat together.

See “Seduction University” for crafting “whirlwind romances”.

Fundamentals of Deep Connection

This is the mindset to reliably build emotional connections:

I believe that getting to know the real person behind our masks is the only way to properly communicate and interact with people.

Once you internalize that mindset, the next steps are the “courage” and spontaneity of the execution:

  1. Become a person who is comfortable talking about deep and personal topics
  2. GRow the courage to ask and share deep and personal topics
  3. Learn the technicalities of vibing and keeping a good flow

Once you put all three in place, you will be shocked at how quickly and reliably you can develop deep emotional bonds.
Because here is the truth about this world:

Most people are more scared and more lonely than they care to admit.
And we all long for someone who comes along and listens with empathy and acceptance
-or, dare to call it, “with love”-.

Then it’s not really about making people open up anymore.
Because they will want to.
And they will love you for that chance.

how to build emotional connection

SUMMARY

Deep connection is an intertwining of souls.

It’s supremely pleasurable, whether it’s romantic or social.

Learning to go deep and develop emotional connections will take your social skills to the next level.

For seductive bonding only, see “Seduction University”

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