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Wired to Connect: The Surprising Link Between Brain Science and Strong, Healthy Relationships

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Research shows that people cannot reach their full potential unless they are in healthy connection with others. Dr. Amy Banks teaches us how to rewire our brains for healthier relationships and happier, more fulfilling lives. We all experience moments when we feel isolated and alone. A 2006 Purdue University study found that twenty-five percent of Americans cannot name a si Research shows that people cannot reach their full potential unless they are in healthy connection with others. Dr. Amy Banks teaches us how to rewire our brains for healthier relationships and happier, more fulfilling lives. We all experience moments when we feel isolated and alone. A 2006 Purdue University study found that twenty-five percent of Americans cannot name a single person they feel close to. Yet every single one of us is hardwired for close relationships. The key to more satisfying relationships—be it with a significant other, a family member, or a colleague—is to strengthen the neural pathways in our brains that encourage closeness and connection. In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Banks give us a road map for developing the four distinct neural pathways in the brain that underlie the four most important ingredients for close relationships: calmness, acceptance, emotional resonance, and energy. Wired to Connect gives you the tools you need to strengthen the parts of your brain that encourage connection and to heal the neural damage that disconnection can cause.


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Research shows that people cannot reach their full potential unless they are in healthy connection with others. Dr. Amy Banks teaches us how to rewire our brains for healthier relationships and happier, more fulfilling lives. We all experience moments when we feel isolated and alone. A 2006 Purdue University study found that twenty-five percent of Americans cannot name a si Research shows that people cannot reach their full potential unless they are in healthy connection with others. Dr. Amy Banks teaches us how to rewire our brains for healthier relationships and happier, more fulfilling lives. We all experience moments when we feel isolated and alone. A 2006 Purdue University study found that twenty-five percent of Americans cannot name a single person they feel close to. Yet every single one of us is hardwired for close relationships. The key to more satisfying relationships—be it with a significant other, a family member, or a colleague—is to strengthen the neural pathways in our brains that encourage closeness and connection. In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Banks give us a road map for developing the four distinct neural pathways in the brain that underlie the four most important ingredients for close relationships: calmness, acceptance, emotional resonance, and energy. Wired to Connect gives you the tools you need to strengthen the parts of your brain that encourage connection and to heal the neural damage that disconnection can cause.

30 review for Wired to Connect: The Surprising Link Between Brain Science and Strong, Healthy Relationships

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I'd love to read a review of this book by a neuroscientist but I suspect they wouldn't come near it. I got through a couple of chapters but I just can't take it anymore. It seems to me like the author cherry picked a few studies, generalised and extrapolated their results way beyond what is reasonable ignoring the difference between correlation and causation... then herded them into a narrative that supports her pet theory... and then proceeded to present it in the most patronising way imaginabl I'd love to read a review of this book by a neuroscientist but I suspect they wouldn't come near it. I got through a couple of chapters but I just can't take it anymore. It seems to me like the author cherry picked a few studies, generalised and extrapolated their results way beyond what is reasonable ignoring the difference between correlation and causation... then herded them into a narrative that supports her pet theory... and then proceeded to present it in the most patronising way imaginable in this book. She presents a few unsupported theories as facts (e.g. the polyvagal theory), throws odd "facts" around (a quarter of animals feigning death end up actually dying - apparently, I can find no support for this claim)... takes human behaviours as an indicator of a human's physiological/neurological state. E.g.: "Have you ever known someone who snaps at you when you say something mild and friendly like 'Hey, you look a little tired today. Are you all right?' Then you know someone who may be suffering from an overactive dorsal anterior cingulate cortex." When she stated that she gets emotionally involved with her patients and doesn't believe in staying rational and independent as a therapist, I knew this was definitely not my cup of tea and this is not the person I want to take psychology advice from. "Sometimes I saw patients that were barely hanging on, whose relational worlds were limited to one or two abusive connections. In these cases, we worked together to find ways to detach from unhealthy relationships and - gently, slowly - grow relationships that held more potential for acceptance and warmth. From these starting points, we'd continue the work that would allow them to grow, expand, connect, heal, and move forward. I grew, too, refusing to maintain a cool distance in the therapy room. Whereas a separation-individuation therapist would see it as her job to help her patients stand on their own, I forged real relationships with my clients. I shared my own worries and feelings and expanded my emotional repertoire. Within the relationship, the patient grew - and so did I." Call me odd, but forging emotionally involved relationships with vulnerable patients from a position of a trusted therapist just doesn't sit right with me. She then proceeds to quote a testimonial from a satisfied patient, which struck me as bizarre and in poor taste. I didn't get far enough into this book to feel like I could give it a rating fairly, but I also don't trust the information presented to be factually accurate and not a figment of author's wishful thinking. Proceed at your own risk.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Edy

    “Hiding who you are can make you feel safer, but only temporarily, because hiding produces follow-up thinking that goes, If they knew the real me, they would reject me. This is the relational paradox at work. In the hopes of being accepted, you don’t share who you are- and then you feel as if you’re always on the verge of being discovered and then rejected. You feel chronically unseen.” I love how the author continuously talks about how we are biologically wired to want to connect with other huma “Hiding who you are can make you feel safer, but only temporarily, because hiding produces follow-up thinking that goes, If they knew the real me, they would reject me. This is the relational paradox at work. In the hopes of being accepted, you don’t share who you are- and then you feel as if you’re always on the verge of being discovered and then rejected. You feel chronically unseen.” I love how the author continuously talks about how we are biologically wired to want to connect with other human beings. She congrats this biological need with our society’s emphasis on autonomy and self-determination. “When we socialize humans to be autonomous and not turn to others to help buffer stress, we actively undermine the development of the neural pathways for connection. These neural pathways are an essential balance to the sympathetic nervous system and help keep it in check so that you are not in a state of high arousal all the time.”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jbussen

    If you don't use it you lose it. Our brains can be damaged, but repaired. Dr. Banks's CARE theory/hypothesis (oops) is interesting. Calm, Accepted, Resonant and Energetic: these categories correspond to four brain circuits that are critical not just to having strong, healthy relationships but also to thriving in life in general. Her argument for relationships as the centerpiece of our overall health and well-being is convincing. She makes special note of our societies emphasis on self reliance, If you don't use it you lose it. Our brains can be damaged, but repaired. Dr. Banks's CARE theory/hypothesis (oops) is interesting. Calm, Accepted, Resonant and Energetic: these categories correspond to four brain circuits that are critical not just to having strong, healthy relationships but also to thriving in life in general. Her argument for relationships as the centerpiece of our overall health and well-being is convincing. She makes special note of our societies emphasis on self reliance, going it alone, not needing help, etc. as flawed. While important, deep emotional connection is stronger. More meaning in our lives. No argument there. But she says that these neural pathways can be degraded or damaged from neglect or abuse and that they can be repaired, and then further if you study your relationships with her CARE guide, you can get the most out of the relationships you do have. A simple theory of how the brain and our relationships - familial, romantic, platonic - are inextricably linked. For those who have experienced positive relationships in their lives, this book explains how it benefits us. For those that haven't always (or ever) experienced positive relationships in their lives, it explains how those experiences can form roadblocks to our ability to form emotionally positive relationships, even when we intellectually understand the people we're trying to connect to are great people. It also explains how we can measure the quality of our relationships, with respect to how they provide C(alm).A(cceptance).R(esonance).E(nergy)., and how to use that information to make all of our relationships better.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cuddles By Bree

    This read was a game changer to what I've been dealing with all my life. I've now come from a fear of emotional and social vulnerability, a past of addiction, and presently to a life that thrives and is centered around connection, vulnerability, and self security. Connection via healthy relationships is a drastic improvement on all our lives! This read was a game changer to what I've been dealing with all my life. I've now come from a fear of emotional and social vulnerability, a past of addiction, and presently to a life that thrives and is centered around connection, vulnerability, and self security. Connection via healthy relationships is a drastic improvement on all our lives!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cait

    Accessible and interesting. Makes sense. I recommend it to anyone with social anxiety or anyone who works in a job where your rapport with others is key.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Boiling

    3.5/5 The main premise of this book is that we are not individuals but a connected society and boundaries should not exist because we are social mammals.This is more applicable to western societies. I would argue that not having boundaries and everybody's opinion mattering is what causes a lot of strife and many people are unable to marry who they love and choose careers they want because of lack of boundaries from extended families and societies. There is a reason modern societies with individua 3.5/5 The main premise of this book is that we are not individuals but a connected society and boundaries should not exist because we are social mammals.This is more applicable to western societies. I would argue that not having boundaries and everybody's opinion mattering is what causes a lot of strife and many people are unable to marry who they love and choose careers they want because of lack of boundaries from extended families and societies. There is a reason modern societies with individualism (which she does not like) evolved and I am glad they did. However, it is true that in modern societies, people are increasingly disconnected from others and maybe we should not go to another extreme of disconnectedness. The main thing I learnt from this book was we are affected neurologically not only by the people we love but also by the people we spend time around out of no choice (work) and spend time thinking of or people who occupy our mental space. When we have to evaluate our relationships, it is so easy (and I did it too) to just tihnk of people we like the most, instead of evaluating how our colleagues, neighbours, the irritating colleague we spend our mental energy thinking of, all of who are affecting our neurological makeup. Some tips on improving relationships which were helpful and some food for thought. I liked the CARE pathway quiz because I like analyzing my results based on numbers.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ludmila Kovaříková

    Kniha vysvětluje, proč je důležité mít dobré přátele i v pozdějším věku a jak se náš mozek chová, když (ne)jsme v jejich společnosti. Vše vztahuje ke provedeným výzkumům a ukazuje na cestách v lidském mozku. Uvádí čtyři důležitá kritéria vztahu: klid, akceptování, rezonance, energie. Trochu mi vadí opakování témat, angličtina byla neobvykle srozumitelná. Vzhledem k tomu, že nemůžu srovnat s jinými knihami na stejné téma, čtyři hvězdičky.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    The surprising link between brain science and strong, healthy relationships is explained. If you're into NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and the latest discoveries in RCT, relational-cultural theory, you'll like this book. It opened my eyes to scientifically proven ways to develop healthy relationships. The surprising link between brain science and strong, healthy relationships is explained. If you're into NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and the latest discoveries in RCT, relational-cultural theory, you'll like this book. It opened my eyes to scientifically proven ways to develop healthy relationships.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Christensen

    Excellent! Well-written explanations of neuroscience discoveries that we can use to change the pathways in our brains and improve our relationships.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Robert

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mayo Lucas

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cami

  16. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Edelson

  19. 4 out of 5

    Casey

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tiago Ventura Rego

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jon

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tyshia

  23. 5 out of 5

    Swarna Tyagi

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  25. 5 out of 5

    Priscila Olortegui

  26. 5 out of 5

    Megan Guiry

  27. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

  28. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Strandkvist

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marcy

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