In this self-help guide, a communication expert details the effects of “affection hunger” and strategies to make more meaningful connections.
Floyd (Human Communication/Arizona State Univ.) notes that more and more people feel like they’re not getting as much affection as they need—they hunger, he says, for more quality human interaction. He asserts that the rise of social media, while offering some communal benefits, is largely making things worse, creating a “pseudo-intimacy.” He then details how affection deprivation causes an array of mental and physical problems, including weakened immune systems, higher cortisol/stress levels, and self-destructive behaviors. The book offers examples and anecdotes, including some from Floyd’s own “affection lab” studies. He recommends that everyone should determine his or her own affection needs and tackle his or her loneliness issues. He offers six strategies for this purpose: assess one’s fears in accepting affection; invite and model, rather than demand, the kind of relationships one seeks; recognize that others may express affection differently (many men, for example, express it by doing tasks); nurture a variety of affectionate relationships; be alert to “toxic affection” practitioners; and lastly, be optimistic yet realistic, as relationships will have ups and downs. Debut author Floyd is certainly not the first to spotlight the reality and consequences of increasing disconnection in our society, but he offers clear, simple, and very welcome direction on what to do about it on a grass-roots, personal level. He offers his advice in warm, relatable fashion, wryly acknowledging his own affection tendencies and needs: “When my colleague put her arms around me in the hallway, it didn’t change anything about what had gone wrong in my day. However, it changed everything about the way I felt.” He also sprinkles helpful “Try This” suggestions and “Stop and Reflect” self-evaluation questions throughout his text.
A practical, inspiring primer to assess and address one’s particular emotional requirements.