Often, we crave more affection than we receive, unaware of its direct link to the feelings of loneliness. We correlate affection as a demonstration of love from those we are close to such as our spouse, friends, family, etc. This is not rare, as many of us have found ourselves in need of feelings of fondness. Being unaware of what we feel or what we lack is the first step towards addressing what most know to be called “skin hunger.” Affectionate communication is important to the maintenance of personal relationships we hold with others. To be deprived of such, can result in detrimental effects such as feelings of loneliness, sadness, depression, and stress that can impact one’s overall health.
Recent studies conducted by Dr. Kory Floyd, a professor of interpersonal communication at the University of Arizona’s Department of Communication addressed ways one can nurture and better connect with others. One helpful way to connect with others, is to begin inviting affection from others. Sometimes we act in a manner that assumes that those who are close to us should automatically know our needs or read our minds. However, many times our loved ones are unaware of the affection we seek. In relationships that experience an affection gap, it is important to invite affection by expressing what you want without demands. It is important to allow others to decide whether to give affection as opposed to forcing. Dr. Floyd’s research also finds that teaching by example can invite affection as well. In other words, we can invite affection by showing affection.
It also helps to understand our affection needs before expecting one relationship to provide it all. In most cases, affection is needed from more than one loved one, so it is encouraged to nurture and invite affection from both existing and new relationships. So, begin giving and showing affection with a hug, by saying “ I love you,” or by being a shoulder to lean on for a friend in need.
Hall, E.D. (2018, December 31).Seeking Affection. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/conscious-communication/201812/seeking-affection
Floyd, K. (2013, August 31). What Lack of Affection Can Do to You. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/affectionado/201308/what-lack-affection-can-do-you