Recent research out of the University of Colorado at Boulder suggests that the degree of physical warmth you feel influences the degree of psychological warmth you experience. Warming up hands and body may just help promote interpersonal warmth.
And while there’s much more to the success of a difficult conversation than the temperature of your hands and body, it’s intriguing to consider again the connection between our physical and emotional selves.
In Warm Your Hands, Warm Your Outlook? National Geographic reports,
In a new experiment, people who held steaming cups of coffee for a few seconds judged another person as more generous, caring, and happy than people who held a cup of iced coffee did.
In a second experiment, people who briefly handled a therapeutic hot pad instead of an ice pack were more likely to later select a gift for a friend rather than themselves.
The findings indicate that physical warmth unconsciously stimulates friendly behavior toward other people, according to marketing professor Lawrence Williams of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The study’s author recommends, “You may want to err on the side of introducing [physical] warmth to situations … to create sensations of interpersonal warmth more than cold.”
And mediators who read this blog, take note: Perhaps your clients would be better served by hot tea than that can of Coke!
You can read about the original research in Science magazine’s Experiencing Physical Warms Promotes Interpersonal Warmth.