Self help books are widely read and admired. We feel like someone else is talking our mind out loud in different vocabulary, in short we empathize with the author. It is a great relief trip at times but does it enhance our own emotions? Well, not really.
Researchers from the Harvard University Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab, conducted a study through FMRI in which 159 participants were asked to talk about personality and opinions of themselves and then others. The results concluded talking about self activated additional brain regions which were previously not associated with the self talk. According to an article “The Neuroscience of Everybody’s Favorite Topic” published in 2013. “These newly implicated areas of the brain are generally associated with reward, and have been linked to the pleasurable feelings and motivational states associated with stimuli such as sex, cocaine, and good food.”
Conversation is a brief meeting with oneself. An in person (face-to-face) conversation helps built physical and mental health, provides happiness and longevity. Sometimes an individual does not need to know if ones emotions are valid or not, whether there are right or wrong but one requires the security and peace another person is there to listen to us and give us respect.
Some points to remember during a conversation encounter are:
- Don’t turn conversation all about you and complain, it is unpleasant.
- Keep a balance, don’t enforce your opinion but share it.
- Just listen, maintain eye contact, nod your head in understanding and respect.
In the cutthroat economy we can make a difference by being the reliable ears. We actually don’t have to sympathize or empathize at all but just politely listen without judgement and respond appropriately.