Emotional sustenance - Part 1

Posted on monday, 8 Oct 2017

In this post I am going to talk about emotional sustenance and how different people find satisfaction in different methods.

A while ago I went on an impromptu day escape with a friend, and on the drive back I had some quality time to ponder about life in general. The topic of emotional sustenance had since then stuck in my mind, and this post is mostly about the revelations I had in that short trip.

I find that emotional sustenance is something not many people talk about, despite it being just as important (if not more) as physical wellbeing. Perhaps the western world have a better grasp on this matter, here in south east asia it is mostly a subject that most would gladly ignore or avoid, even in close knit circles. Maybe I’m projecting, and if I am, this post is a perfect reflection of myself that the future me will be glad to reminiscent one fine day.

Different people find emotional sustenance in different ways. That much is certain. However, I’ve noticed two very distinct, and perhaps mutually exclusive, manners in which people heal their souls. Here I classify them as experience-oriented and connection-oriented.

Experience Oriented Sustenance

Experience-oriented people find emotional sustenance from the things they do and feel with a companion. To them, events, places and things experienced together is far more valuable. They seek a partner to make stories with, where their memories would be filled with people instead of just themselves.

These kind of people would prefer to do things together with their companions. In fact, the activity itself is the topic of conversation. It can be going to a party together, heading to the movies, or going on a road trip. Heck, even people watching counts, since the topic revolves around the act of observing others, instead of getting to know each other better.

Connection Oriented Sustenance

Connection-oriented people find emotional sustenance from connecting with their companion. To these people, a meet up is an exchange of views, ideologies or opinions. They either seek common ground, or contradictory perspectives relative to their own.

These kind of people would rather sit, chill and talk, perhaps over a drink or meal. They feel happy when they walk away with a deeper understanding of the other person, and most of the time they develop intimate relationships with the people in their circle.

It’s a spectrum

Of course, I’m not saying that people are either one or the other. We switch between two different sustenance modes all the time. Some friends are there for experience-oriented sustenance, while others are there for connection-oriented sustenance.

I think by classifying it this way it makes it easier to recognise what kind of sustenance the other party needs, and adjust your expectations accordingly so both of you are in sync in what you want and are looking for.

Until next time, don’t forget to feed your emotions!


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