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July 24th, 2013: Emotional needs and sustenance

July 12, 2013

In the middle hour we discussed emotional needs and sustenance. What are we succeeding at and what are we contributing.

Universally, emotional needs and sustenance are met by relationships. People have to trust friends, companions, spouses and family members to an appropriate level by putting up barriers to the point that they know they will be supported rather than hurt when exposed. This takes time and barriers need to fall away at variable speed depending on prior hurtful episodes. Reading emotions in oneself and in another in a relationship requires feeling the physical responses in yourself and in the other person: facial expression, sweating, flushing, fidgeting, nervousness, calm, breathing, heart rate, or tearing of the eyes.

For those on the autism spectrum there may be special circumstances:

  • We may have difficulty making friends and may be too slow or fast in building trust in relationships
  • We often think about or try to name emotions rather than feel them
  • Our facial expression may not reflect our feelings
  • We may have difficulty reading facial expressions and body language in others
  • If our other needs are met, our emotional well being may be met without getting in touch with our bodily feelings
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