So too, human beings. In other words: I could not understand myself without Seth. ) At its core, then, twinship signals a deep new sense of belonging to the human race. Twinship is the very embryo--the earliest seed--of what most spiritual traditions call oneness, or union. You eat too much! You never exercise! All stereotypical things that larger people hear on a regular basis, especially from doctors who haven't done a full battery of tests on a patient. She told them the truth: She doesn't have diabetes. They wish they had her good cholesterol levels. She probably eats less than everyone in the room and goes to the gym more than they do, too. Sure, her blood pressure is a bit high, despite all her weight loss and regular exercise, but otherwise? Their assumptions are widely off base. All this goes back to educating people about weight bias, she said. Not just medical professionals--everyone. Similarly, think about the last car you bought - what was it that tipped you at the end of the decision process into that particular choice? Emotions play an important role in decision-making. Neuroscientists agree that emotions and thinking are `completely intertwined' 3 and that emotions (in ourselves or others) provide us with information and insight that is necessary for decision-making. David Eagleman 4 quotes an example of a woman with a brain injury, whose rational and emotional systems are disconnected. Consequently, she is unable to make choices between alternatives, such as which type of cheese to buy in a supermarket.

There is too much information for her rational system to weigh up to make the choice, and because her emotional system is not effective she is unable to value one choice over another - she cannot make herself care about the choice. Decisions have both rational and emotional components. Think about how you vote - it is likely that some of your choice is based on your gut feeling. At work, people choose (consciously or subconsciously) how much discretionary effort to exert, depending on how engaged they are with their manager, colleagues, work and the organisation. You can influence how engaged people are with you, how committed rather than merely compliant they are, by shifting your energy and communication to connect with them in a more emotionally intelligent way - being aware of your own emotions and managing them, as well as picking up on and engaging their emotions. Many nursing homes, where people with dementia tend to land, have been slow to draft formal policies for their staffs on how to deal with residents who want to have sex, let alone communicating guidelines to residents and their families. So sex becomes like death: people do it but nobody talks about it, at least not in public. The facility where Helen and Howie live, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, is an exception to this rule, as in many things. Since the 1990s the home has had a policy to foster intimate relationships for residents, including those with Alzheimer's, and to permit sexually explicit literature or videos. Nurses watch for changes in behavior that might signal one person is unhappy in a relationship, like a loss of appetite (the staff also holds monthly services to acknowledge residents' deaths, which is even rarer among facilities). Recently the home added a dating service, called G-Date, or Grandparent Date, but it has not been a smash: at a recent count, only about 40 of the facility's 870 residents were in relationships. Many had nursed their spouses through long, emotionally draining deaths, and did not want to do so again. Ruth Willig knew this experience well. By the time I started visiting her, her husband had been dead for twenty-one years, and in that time she had never dated. When I asked her what she'd had to give up in old age, she paused and said, Of course the obvious one is sex, but that didn't bother me that much. Hinduism's great spiritual masterpiece, the Bhagavad Gita, calls this the vision of sameness. Another great spiritual classic, the two-thousand-year-old Yoga Sutra, says, We are all made of the same stuff. Whatever we call it, most spiritual traditions see the mature experience of sameness as one of the highest forms of human consciousness. It presages the discovery that all human beings are essentially alike in every way that really counts. And it all begins with that first truly reciprocal friendship.

That first experience of sameness. 7 Have you had a twinship experience? If you have, you will never forget it. True experiences of twinship are precious, and we only experience them a handful of times throughout life--if we're lucky. Until you've experienced it, she said, or have a close friend who has, you just don't know. In one survey, 88 percent of women said they compare their bodies with those they see on social media. Not only that, but half of those women say the comparison is unfavorable. For men, only 65 percent said they compared themselves with images on social media, and a little more than a third--37 percent--say that comparison is unfavorable. What's most striking about this survey is that for men and women, health and looking in the mirror are near the bottom of what influences how they feel about their bodies. Which goes again to the main point: Many of the images we see on social media aren't real. And yet we continue to compare ourselves with them. That same survey said that 51 percent of women between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four felt pressure to look perfect on social media. And 60 percent of women from all age groups said they would post a photo on social media only if they loved how they look in it. Social media is also addictive as hell. When you communicate to engage people's emotions, they will feel more commitment and you will get better results for everyone. Managing your own emotions and mood Emotions and moods are infectious. The first step to being an engaging communicator is to be aware of your own emotions and able to manage them. This is a key part of emotional intelligence (the left-hand end of the EQ equilibrium).

But it is often difficult to know what is going on in our own minds. Much of our behaviour is driven by unconscious processes - we do and say things based on automatic patterns without conscious thought. Even when we are aware of our thoughts and feelings, we often cannot explain why we are thinking or feeling that way. We may feel happy, but don't know why. We associate smiling with being happy but do we smile because we are happy, or are we happy because we are smiling? And I used to love to walk. She made it clear that she missed the latter more. Gerontologists often worry about people like Ruth, who live alone and choose not to participate in group activities, including those they once enjoyed. Social isolation kills, said Donna M. Corrado, commissioner of New York's Department for the Aging. People don't get out, don't eat, don't take their medication, die early. Often when I visited Ruth, she mentioned a recent outing or exercise class that she'd considered but decided against. A happy social life, for her, was the one she had lost when she left her old building. Yet it is also possible that people simply lose interest in certain kinds of social contact as they get older, instead applying their energies to people and relationships they find more meaningful. Ruth sometimes worried about her children or grandchildren, but she never mentioned being lonely. I remember my father's best friend, Phil Shipe--the football coach at the College of Wooster, where my father was a dean. Phil and my father hung out together; they played golf; they watched sports on TV; they had deep talks about philosophy and politics;

they had late-into-the-night talks about college politics. I remember, as a kid, observing this friendship with fascination. It seemed so very important to Dad. Phil gave my father a copy of Khalil Gibran's The Prophet with an inscription: To my best friend, Bob. A pearl of great price. Let me ask you this: How often, while reading this piece of writing, have you checked your phone to look at social media? Now that I've mentioned your phone, do you want to check social media? The answer is probably yes. And what do we see on social media a lot of the time? People with perfect bodies who are living perfect lives, and doing so effortlessly. Have you ever felt bad because of how someone else was living their life? Have you ever thought, Dang, I wish I looked like him/her and then felt bad about yourself? Yeah, that's why social media isn't the best when it comes to your self-image. And that can add more stress to life, which, in turn, can make it harder to love your body or make progress if you're trying to change. This happened to me a lot. Which comes first, the emotion in the brain or the action in the body? People who work in call centres are advised to smile when they are on the telephone, even though the customer can't see them. It is believed that the emotion linked to physically smiling comes across in their tone of voice and enables them to take a more positive approach to the customer's problem. When you are preparing to communicate, you can create a positive mood in yourself, which will help to create a positive emotional state in the people with whom you are communicating. See yourself communicating successfully.