By: Elizabeth Louis
High nurturance is a remarkable and often underestimated trait that plays a pivotal role in our interpersonal relationships, professional success, and overall well-being. From a biblical perspective, nurturing others reflects the principles of love, compassion, and empathy found in various scriptures.
In this blog, we will explore the concept of high nurturance, its significance, and its impact, while also delving into the neurological underpinnings that help us better understand this trait.
Table of Contents:
Biblical Perspective on Nurturance
1. Communication of Concern: The Bible places great emphasis on showing concern for others. High nurturance enables individuals to communicate their care and compassion more effectively. In the book of Galatians 6:2, it is written, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” High nurturance aligns with this principle, helping us fulfill our duty to support and nurture one another.
2. Helping Others: The Christian faith teaches us to help those in need. However, it is crucial to have the right heart about this, as excessive people-pleasing is detrimental and not godly. Why? Because people pleasing is rooted in fear of man and we are to fear the Lord, not man! Therefore, setting boundaries, as advised in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it,” is essential to ensure that your nurturing nature is not exploited. If you struggle with people pleasing you may want to examine why your need to be accepted by other humans is so strong. Being a chameleon is a dangerous trap.
3. Empathy and Connection: The Bible calls for empathy and connection with others. Romans 12:15 encourages believers to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” High nurturance, coupled with conscientiousness, enhances empathy. Empathy allows us to connect with people on a deeper level, fulfilling the biblical principle of supporting one another in times of joy and sorrow. Empathy enables you to walk in their shoes — seeing things from their perspective. Helping someone feel understood and accepted is a powerful gift that nurturance can do.
4. Listening and Concern: Active listening is a vital component of nurturing relationships. In the book of James 1:19, it is written, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” High nurturance helps us be better listeners, a valuable trait, particularly in roles that involve ongoing communication and concern for others. Additionally, actively listening and learning how to control your tongue allows you to more easily submit to the person you are interacting with. When I say submit I am not saying surrender all your power and become helpless. I am suggesting that you focus on that person and what he or she is saying alone. Providing your full attention to a person is priceless. People want to be feel listened too and accepted, and nurturance allows this.
5. Expressing Warmth: The Bible encourages believers to express warmth and kindness towards others. Proverbs 19:22 states, “What a person desires is unfailing love.” Isn’t that the truth? Most of the problems people face are rooted in not understand what real love is nor knowing how to accept it.
High nurturance expresses warmth, empathy, and genuine concern, which can make others feel psychologically safe. This emotional safety enables open and honest communication, fostering stronger relationships.
The Power of Nurturance in the Workplace
Nurturance is a quality that holds incredible power in the workplace, yet it is often underestimated. This ability to care for and support one another not only fosters a more positive and harmonious work environment but also has a direct impact on productivity, employee well-being, and overall success.
Humans are wired for love. It’s better for us to work in a love-filled environment than a fear-based culture because fear will never allow the human brain to work optimally.
Nurturance in the workplace begins with empathy and active listening. When colleagues and supervisors genuinely listen to each other’s concerns and ideas, it creates a space where everyone feels valued and understood. Many billion dollar companies today implement this. They allow for all ideas to be shared without criticism or crudeness to come in.
This, in turn, leads to increased job satisfaction and a stronger sense of belonging.
Furthermore, nurturing relationships at work can significantly enhance teamwork and collaboration. Employees who feel cared for are more likely to help and support one another, leading to greater creativity and problem-solving. A nurturing work environment encourages individuals to communicate openly, share their expertise, and work collectively towards common goals.
High nurturance in the workplace also benefits employee well-being. It reduces stress and anxiety levels, as people know they can turn to their colleagues or superiors for support. This nurturing atmosphere promotes mental health, reduces burnout, and creates a sense of psychological safety.
The positive effects of nurturance extend to leadership as well. Effective leaders who exhibit nurturance traits can build strong, loyal teams that are willing to go the extra mile. Leaders who show care and concern for their employees tend to inspire trust and commitment, resulting in increased job satisfaction and reduced turnover rates.
In conclusion, nurturing relationships and fostering an environment of support and empathy in the workplace is a powerful tool. It not only improves interpersonal dynamics but also contributes to enhanced productivity, employee well-being, and organizational success. Recognizing the significance of nurturance in the workplace is essential for creating a positive, thriving, and harmonious professional environment.
Neuroscience of Nurturance
From a neuroscience perspective, high nurturance is closely linked to various brain functions and neurochemical processes that facilitate positive social interactions. Here are some insights into how the brain and the concept of high nurturance are intertwined:
1. Empathy and Mirror Neurons: Empathy, a core component of nurturance, is associated with mirror neurons in the brain. These neurons allow us to understand and share the emotions of others. When you express empathy, your mirror neurons fire, enabling you to resonate with the feelings of those you are nurturing.
2. Oxytocin Release: Oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone” or “bonding hormone,” is released during nurturing interactions. It fosters trust, emotional bonding, and social connection. When you exhibit high nurturance, both you and the person you are nurturing experience increased oxytocin levels, leading to a stronger emotional connection.
3. Prefrontal Cortex Engagement: The prefrontal cortex, responsible for executive functions such as empathy, self-regulation, and decision-making, plays a crucial role in nurturing behavior. High nurturance individuals tend to have a more engaged prefrontal cortex, enabling them to make empathetic and compassionate choices. Again, it’s important to make sure you are not making these decisions from a fear of man point of view (where humans are you god) but you are doing this in service maintaining fear of the Lord.
4. Listening and the Brain: Listening is a complex cognitive task that involves various brain regions. When you actively listen, the brain processes auditory information, interprets emotional cues, and engages the working memory to retain and respond to the conversation. High nurturance individuals demonstrate enhanced activation in these areas, making them excellent listeners.
5. Psychological Safety and Trust: Nurturing behavior, with its warmth and empathy, creates an environment of psychological safety. This environment is linked to the brain’s perception of trust. When someone feels psychologically safe, their brain releases lower levels of stress hormones, facilitating open and honest communication.
The Pitfalls of Low Nurturance
While high nurturance is an asset, low nurturance can have significant negative consequences. These issues can affect both personal and professional aspects of life:
1. Lack of Concern for Others: Low nurturance individuals may not express concern for those around them, which can lead to strained relationships and a lack of support from others.
2. Hostile Bias: People often develop a negative or hostile bias toward those with low nurturance. This can hinder social and professional interactions and lead to misunderstandings. The more misunderstandings between people the more likely the trust is broken beyond repair.
3. Withheld Support: When someone consistently exhibits low nurturance, people may withhold their support. This lack of support can hinder personal and career growth.
4. Interpersonal Struggles: Interpersonal relationships thrive on mutual positive emotional support. Low nurturance can damage one’s personal and social life, making it challenging to form close, loving relationships.
5. Obstacles to Love: For those seeking close and loving relationships, low nurturance can be a significant obstacle. Love and nurturing are intertwined, and a lack of nurturing behavior can impede the development of deep, loving connections.
10 Steps of How You Can Be More Nurturing
Becoming a more nurturing individual is a wonderful way to enhance your relationships, personal well-being, grow your career, and contribute to a more compassionate world. Here are 10 practical steps to help you become more nurturing:
1. Self-Awareness: Begin by understanding your current nurturing tendencies. Reflect on your actions and how you interact with others. Identify areas where you can improve. Consider the scale below:
A highly nurturing person possesses the emotional capacity to offer compassion and support to others, always willing to go the extra mile to assist, even at the risk of occasionally overextending themselves.
Low nurturance individuals are typically insensitive to the emotional needs of others, and they tend to be reluctant to listen to their problems, offer support, or be helpful.
Where do you fall?
2. Empathetic Listening: Practice active and empathetic listening. When someone is talking to you, make an effort to truly understand their feelings and perspective. This means you will not make it about you. Instead, you will do your best to see things from their perspective. This mean you may need to ask open-ended inquisitive questions to better understand what they are experiencing. Avoid interrupting or planning your response while they speak.
3. Express Warmth: Communicate your care and warmth openly. Simple gestures like a smile, a kind word, or a hug can go a long way in making others feel nurtured and valued. Additionally, so can head nods, a tilted head and gentle comments like “tell me more or mmhm.”
4. Set Boundaries: While nurturing is important, it’s equally crucial to set healthy boundaries. Understand your limitations, and don’t overextend yourself to the point of exhaustion or resentment. Remember, you cannot save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.
5. Help with Acts of Kindness: Acts of kindness, no matter how small, can be nurturing. Offer your assistance, lend a helping hand, or do something thoughtful for others without expecting anything in return. A big key to increasing your nurturance is being selfless.
6. Practice Patience: Cultivate patience in your interactions. People may have different needs and may not respond immediately to nurturing behavior. Be patient and understanding.
7. Encourage and Support: Encourage others to pursue their goals and passions. Offer your support and be a source of inspiration. Your belief in their abilities can be nurturing and motivating. Consider even asking how you can best encourage and support the person. Remember you don’t have to figure things out alone, you can ask.
8. Share in Their Joys and Sorrows: Just as the Bible suggests, be there for people in both their moments of joy and sorrow. Celebrate their successes, and provide comfort and solace during their difficult times.
9. Promote Emotional Safety: Create an environment of psychological safety where people feel comfortable opening up to you. Foster trust, avoid judgment, and allow others to express their thoughts and feelings freely.
10. Practice God-Care: To be more nurturing to others, you must also nurture yourself and lean into God’s nurturance. I personally do not believe in self-care but I believe in God-care, which is essential for maintaining your capacity to nurture. Trust God with your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Allow God to lead and teach you on how to take care of yourself in a godly way.
Remember that nurturing is not just about helping others; it’s also about being kind and compassionate towards yourself. By following these steps, you can become a more nurturing person, fostering positive, loving relationships and contributing to a more nurturing and compassionate world.
High nurturance is a secret power that can positively impact our lives from both a biblical and neuroscientific perspective. It enables us to connect with others, express empathy, and create environments of psychological safety.
While nurturing others is important, it’s equally vital to maintain healthy boundaries to avoid people-pleasing tendencies. On the other hand, low nurturance can have far-reaching negative consequences on personal, social, and professional aspects of life.
To harness the secret power of high nurturance, it is essential to embrace this trait while understanding its boundaries, and in doing so, we can truly fulfill the biblical principles of love, compassion, and empathy in our lives.
Check out my podcast THE LIZ SHOW to listen to Showing Nurturance Like Christ