I was recently coaching a friend of mine who is highly successful in business, but really struggles when it comes to connecting with women. What I noticed most strongly in our conversation was that my friend talked mostly about what he thought, and very little about how he felt. This was a strategy that served him well in the business world, but didn't work so well when it came to establishing connections with women.
If you want to connect more deeply with women, emotions are the key. Most of us guys have received a great deal of education on how to think, but very little on how to handle feelings. We rarely disclose how we feel to other people, and we aren't good at acknowledging other people's emotions either.
Our emotions are a deeply powerful part of our experience of life, which is why they are so important in connecting more deeply with other people. Women are generally much more aware of how they feel than us men are, partly because they're biologically wired that way, and partly because they've usually spent a lot more time talking over their feelings with their girlfriends. Most men on the other hand are often out of practise when it comes to relating emotionally, because it's often been seen as weak, or as a poor second to relating intellectually.
This is a skill you can learn though. Practise listening more carefully to what women say to you, and trying to pick out what emotion they are feeling or expressing at the time. Then when it's your turn to talk, reflect their feeling back to them with a statement like: “So you're feeling X” or “So when Y happened, you felt Z”. If the feeling isn't clear to you, ask with an open question like: “I'm wondering how you felt when that happened?” This technique is called reflective or active listening, and is the simplest way to show empathy. When a woman receives empathy, she naturally feels safer, more understood and greater trust in us.
Since women generally run rings around us when it comes to expressing and identifying feelings, it can feel intimidating moving into this territory and there is the risk that we'll get it wrong; especially at first. Take the plunge anyway. Even if you get it wrong, most women will be grateful for you making the effort to connect emotionally. If a woman takes offence at you mistakenly identifying the wrong feeling, she's probably hard work and you might want to move on to someone a little more easy going.
When a woman senses that you're in tune with her feelings, she immediately feels a greater sense of connection and trust with you. This doesn't just work with women. All of us have a deep yearning for connection, and emotional connection is the deepest form you can get.
In addition to learning how to identify and reflect other people's feelings, you also want to learn to express yours more clearly. Showing vulnerability by expressing how you feel allows her to lower her defences and connect with you more deeply too.
As with everything in life, this is all about balance. You don't want to dump your emotional baggage all over a woman you've just met or turn a date into a therapy session; this is one reason why it's important for you to offload pent up emotional baggage with a friend or therapist. Nor do you want to turn into a therapist for the woman, which is a fast way to end up in her friend zone. I also recommend that you avoid talking about your feelings towards her until you've spent a decent amount of time together and are reasonably sure that those feelings are reciprocated.
Many guys get the balance wrong and make the mistake of withholding their feelings, often because we're just not used to revealing how we feel. Guys who show their feelings give women something to connect to more easily, and come across as more trustworthy because women know where they stand around them.
Remember: If you want to connect more deeply with women, emotions are the key. For more on how to identify and express your emotions, see Section 2: Emotional Mastery in Confident Man.