cover image Missing Each Other: How to Cultivate Meaningful Connections

Missing Each Other: How to Cultivate Meaningful Connections

Edward S. Brodkin and Ashley A. Pallathra. Public Affairs, $28 (256p) ISBN 978-1-54177-401-8

Clinical psychologists Brodkin and Pallathra share helpful advice for fostering meaningful connections in their excellent debut. Chapters are set up as phases in the process of attaining “attunement” (or “the ability to be aware of your own state of mind and body while also connecting to another person”), starting with self-awareness and regulation, which leads to a decrease of tension and stress when meeting new people and fosters what Brodkin calls “relaxed awareness.” Drawing on examples from spirituality, sports, and comedy (such as how both the Dalai Lama and Michael Jordan have the “ability to relax deeply while maintaining awareness, even during intensely high pressure situations”), as well as their clinical experience, the authors show how attunement can function in real-life scenarios and be achieved through practice. Each chapter ends with exercises based on mindfulness and tai chi, such as an exercise in which one attempts to walk in sync with a partner. Mental processes are explained clearly, such as how mindful breathing can lead to being attentive to other “automatic processes.” This refreshing take, devoid of trendy self-care speak, acts as a soothing salve for those anxious in social situations. The result is a highly informed guide on how to be fully present and open with others. (Jan.)