Showing Affection is Like Touching a Person's Soul

Thanks to affection, we can establish close relationships with those around us. The psychological benefits of such bonds are manifold. Discover more.
Showing Affection is Like Touching a Person's Soul
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Showing affection is like touching the soul of the person you direct it to. It means using the right words and seeing other people as part of who you are.

Zick Rubin was the first psychologist to research the idea of love and how it affects personal relationships. He also pointed out that there are subtle differences between love and affection. It’s simply common courtesy to be affectionate with people in the closest parts of your life.

The love that you feel for a romantic partner or a child, however, is much more intimate and takes a different kind of affection. This type of affection strengthens the bond between you. Keep reading this article to learn more.

Why is affection touching with respect the soul of the other?

Experts in emotional psychology say that affection is primarily a social strategy that allows us to create more intimate, meaningful, and lasting bonds. But what other aspects should be taken into account?

The psychology of showing affection, an art form that involves touching another person’s soul

A couple holding hands while walking down a railroad track.

Undoubtedly, what nurtures our interest in getting closer to others are positive exchanges. This is so because in personal relationships, whether friendship, family, or a couple, someone who acts with harshness or coldness creates distrust and, of course, unhappiness.

Your social brain works through a series of neurotransmitters that help you “connect” with other people. Oxytocin, for example, is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. It’s one of the most important biochemical components that fosters feelings like affection, love, and the need for care and attention. It’s also a key part of an infant’s growth.

As we can see, attachment is a fundamental part of people’s affective behavior. Thus, knowing the language of affection and practicing it can make us great craftsmen of this emotion.

Life without affection is like an empty glass

If there’s no emotional expression in your life, it means that your personal relationships aren’t being reaffirmed. In fact, children who are raised with more attention and affection have a different brain maturation, according to recent research by Dr. Annie Bernier and her team.

  • Fear, emotional stress, and low self-esteem are constant companions for kids dealing with a traumatic or loveless childhood.
  • Of course, adults can also experience these issues. If your partner in a relationship doesn’t treat you with affection, respect, and intimacy, you’re dealing with a kind of emotional abuse.

The coldness that responds with aggression, communication that makes use of irony, or someone who avoids caressing or looking into the eyes of the partner builds a whole wall of suffering. Undoubtedly, escaping from that pain would be a more than healthy alternative.

Affection is a form of energy that flows between people

A couple embracing in a field.

You’ve probably noticed this at some point. When you get affection, respect, and care from those around you, it generates a kind of emotional energy that’s good for everyone.

Creating this kind of positive energy is extremely enriching. Plus,  it costs nothing and is worth so very much. So, you should always try to do the following things:

  • Look at and pay attention to people who speak to you.
  • Listen with empathy and use affirming words: I understand, I know, I know what you’re going through, you’re right, I can only imagine what it’s like in your position…
  • Making some simple gestures can trigger positive emotions. This includes things like a smile, a touch, laughter, an arm around the shoulder…
  • Instead of yelling, or giving off contempt or anger, try to adopt a calm, serene tone of voice.

Practice caring by respectfully touching each other’s souls

Finally, while we put these behaviors in place, demanding them is also a right.

We all deserve respect and the opportunity to enjoy such gestures. We’re talking, therefore, about that affection that accompanies sincere love, that which is capable of caressing our soul…

So, what will you do next time?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Leblanc, É., Dégeilh, F., Daneault, V., Beauchamp, M. H., & Bernier, A. (2017). Attachment Security in Infancy: A Preliminary Study of Prospective Links to Brain Morphometry in Late Childhood. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 2141.
  • Walsh, E., Blake, Y., Donati, A., Stoop, R., & von Gunten, A. (2019). Early Secure Attachment as a Protective Factor Against Later Cognitive Decline and Dementia. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 11, 161.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.