Mind & Soul Relaxation

How Limbic Resonance Dictates Relationships, Explained


Is it weird that we connect to some people more than others? Think about it. Say you meet someone at the park and you feel at home with one another. You get each other’s jokes, your conversations flow naturally, and the instant connection is just there. For some odd reason, you guys just *click*.

But why do we click with some people more than others? There are many reasons—both emotionally and physically—why our body meshes better with others. Our limbic system, which is a part of the brain used for our behavior and emotions, plays a role in that connection. Just how much of a role? Read on to learn more about how the body and the mind control your closest relationships.

The Science Behind Limbic Resonance

Our limbic system is composed of several parts of our brain: the amygdala, hypothalamus, thalamus, and hippocampus. “This system is key in helping us react to the world emotionally in ways that make sense,” explains Becca Reed, LCSW, PMH-C. “The limbic system is like the emotional center of the brain.” It helps us regulate, process, and remember our feelings, she adds.

Each part of our limbic system plays a vital role in our emotional processing.

The Limbic System, Explained

The amygdala is where our fight or flight response comes from; the hypothalamus is how we process bodily feelings like hunger and thirst; the thalamus is how we track sensory input; and the hippocampus is used to control our emotional responses to stimuli.

All of these varied functions essentially explain our connection to others. “It also plays a big role in co-regulation, which is the interactive process of regulating each other’s emotional and physiological states, helping us feel more connected and supported,” says Reed.

Understanding Emotional Connection

The thing about emotional connection—be either romantic, platonic, or familial—is that we feel it throughout our entire bodies, not just in our brains. Close connections can give us actual physical responses, such as a feeling of relaxation or stress. So when you “click” with someone, your inner emotional states are connected in what’s known as limbic resonance.

What is Limbic Resonance?

“Limbic resonance is the idea that our inner emotional states are regulated by the direct connection with another person’s limbic system,” says Reed. “This suggests that we can ‘sync up’ emotionally with others in a way that is both profound and non-verbal. It’s like tuning into the same emotional wavelength spontaneously when we ‘click’ with someone.”

Limbic resonance can be considered an energetic—and usually, energizing—connection to someone else. “Think of the energy exchange in limbic resonance as a quiet, emotional dance that occurs when two people really connect and share their feelings deeply,” suggests Reed. “These mood-boosting interactions help us feel more in harmony with each other, often without needing words or clear expressions of emotion.”

When you feel understood without explicitly explaining your feelings or when you automatically feel comforted in a person’s presence, you’re experiencing limbic resonance. It’s the vibrant thread that connects us to others.

“It helps to stabilize our emotional states and can lead to greater empathy, understanding, and a sense of security and belonging,” says Reed. “This kind of empathetic connection can buffer against emotional distress and foster a sense of emotional safety.”

Limbic Resonance in Social Interactions

Limbic resonance doesn’t always occur from physical interactions. You can be ‘in sync’ with someone both physically and virtually.

“Even when we’re not physically together, the way we communicate empathy through our words and tone can create a feeling of emotional connection and understanding that mirrors the experience of being together in person,” Reed says.

Notice how your body feels when texting or Facetiming a close friend. If you’re just as relaxed and at peace on the phone as in person, you’re in limbic resonance with them. That’s because your body is producing the same feeling chemicals virtually as it does in person.

In both face-to-face and digital settings, limbic resonance can improve how well we connect by making us feel understood and emotionally in sync.


BECCA REED, LCSW, PMH-C.

Essentially, limbic resonance helps us feel more connected to people and makes it easier to relate to them. All of this improves our capacity for empathy, as it becomes natural to envision ourselves in other people’s shoes.

Applications and Benefits of Limbic Resonance

In addition to social interactions, limbic resonance plays a role in other areas like parent-child relationships, therapy, and romantic relationships.

Parent-Child Relationships and Limbic Resonance

For parental relationships specifically, limbic resonance facilitates an emotional connection that is vital for the child’s emotional growth, self-regulation, and social skills,” says Reed. These benefits don’t end in childhood, either. “This early bonding experience helps develop the child’s ability to manage their feelings and build strong, healthy relationships later in life,” she adds.

Therapy and Limbic Resonance

What’s the connection between therapy and limbic resistance? For one, “using limbic resonance can make clients feel more understood and less isolated in what they’re going through,” says Reed. She often mimics her “client’s body language or tone of voice” and “gently matches their emotional state to foster a safe and empathetic space where deep healing can happen.”

It also helps therapists navigate complex situations like treating trauma and attachment wounds. “Active listening as well as naming and validating the client’s feelings also supports limbic resonance,” she says.

Limbic resonance is often used in couples therapy to help partners get in touch with one another on a deeper level. But even without therapy, your relationship could benefit from a stronger understanding and utilization of limbic resonance.

If you just can’t get on the “same wavelength” with your partner, you’re not in limbic resonance with each other (and more pointedly, the relationship might not be going well). Being “in sync” is key to solving conflict easily and feeling connected with one another.

Factors Affecting Limbic Resonance

Of course, limbic resonance is never a guarantee. We don’t feel it with everyone—we couldn’t or it wouldn’t be so special! Even in our closest connections, you may never feel it at all.

A few factors impact limbic resonance, namely emotional congruence. Think of it as “when two people share similar feelings or moods,” Reed says. Proximity can help bridge this emotional gap.

“Being physically close can also help synchronize emotions more easily, as can being open to connecting emotionally,” she adds.

However, physical distance can’t induce limbic resonance if you’re not emotionally available. “The environment and the quality of the relationship, including aspects like trust and safety, are crucial for establishing effective limbic resonance,” Reed says.

Conclusion

Ultimately, limbic resonance is the feeling of being on the same wavelength as another person emotionally. Our limbic system, which comprises several parts of our brain, is responsible for processing our emotions and behaviors. And, when we feel connected to others, our systems are resonating with one another aka ~vibing~.

So, the next time you’re feeling wonderful about how you “click” with a friend or S.O., know that you have limbic resonance to thank.


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