More than Words: Interpersonal Communication and Well-Being with Kory Floyd Ph.D. & Valerie Manusov Ph.D.

Original Air Date Wednesday, April 27, 2022 

As we begin to emerge from the pandemic-induced lockdown, many people are starved for human connection. Online social gatherings may not have been enough to regulate our emotions the way that pure, screen-free human touch does. It may feel uncomfortable to be in close proximity to others, shake hands, or embrace friends and family. And, when we do reach out, what do we say to those who are grieving the loss of social connection or the loss of a loved one?

To delve deeper into how we can be better communicators, Positive Psychology Podcast Host, Lisa Cypers Kamen, speaks with two professors whose work revolves around the many aspects of human communication and social well-being. Kory Floyd studies interpersonal communication and its effects on mental and physical health. He describes the impacts of the COVID pandemic and the loneliness pandemic on our mental state and how we can create connection through communication. Valerie Manusov studies how behavior is interpreted and the meaning we give to other nonverbal communication cues. She reveals the insights about conflict resolution, the effective communication attributes of trustworthy leaders, and the importance of listening.

Kory Floyd Ph.D. — Social Connection for Well-being:

  • Kory describes the fundamental need for connection. [1:42]
  • The importance of touch for regulating emotions. [4:00]
  • People benefit not only from the affection they receive but also from the affection they give. [6:55]
  • Re-emerging after the pandemic can be confusing and exhausting when it comes to touching our tribe. [9:40]
  • Kory explains the difference between feeling alone and being lonely. [16:37]
  • How loneliness impacts mental and physical health. [20:45]
  • What to do and what not to do to create connection and support for someone who is grieving. [25:43]

Kory Floyd with blue shirt, guest of podcast episode called More than Words: Interpersonal Communication and Well-Being with & Valerie Manusov Ph.D.Kory Floyd Ph.D. is a professor of communication and a professor of psychology at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on the communication of affection in close relationships and how it helps individuals manage their mental, physical, and relational health.

Kory Floyd



Valerie Manusov — More than Words:

  • How to build and maintain connection through interpersonal communication styles. [30:29]
  • Valerie describes the subtle back channels of communication that are as important as words. [32:38]
  • Interpreting the behavior of others is more about context than body language. [38:49]
  • In the face of differences, it is important to remember that our humanity is what binds us all together. [43:41]
  • Valerie describes how President Zelensky of Ukraine is a model of trustworthy leadership in the face of challenge. [47:49]
  • Conflict resolution helps retain important relationships but is a skill that should be practiced. [52:57]

Valerie Manusov Ph.D. with white dress, guest of podcast episode called More than Words: Interpersonal Communication and Well-Being with Kory Floyd Ph.D.Valerie Manusov Ph.D. is a professor in the Dept. of Communication at the University of Washington. She has studied interpersonal communication generally, and nonverbal communication specifically, for almost 40 years. She is the co-editor of The Sage Handbook of Nonverbal Communication.


This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio about intellectual humility and critical thinking  is sponsored by:

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“I have a deep empathy for people I don't even know.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“There is an element of risk and vulnerability in order to soothe the sense of loneliness.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Listening is as important in being an effective communicator as being the one who is the speaker or the storyteller.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“In children who don't receive the level of touch or cuddling they need as infants, we see a failure to thrive.” — Kory Floyd on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Most hugs last between a second and a second and a half.” — Kory Floyd on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“One of the greatest things about affection, in terms of its relationship with well-being, is that it doesn't benefit us just when we receive it also benefits us when we are the giver of the affection. Click To Tweet“When you are really, truly entrenched in loneliness, it can be very easy to believe that things are never going to get better.” — Kory Floyd on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Loneliness reflects a discrepancy in the amount of social connection that we feel like we want or need in our lives and the amount we actually have.” — Kory Floyd on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“There is a very strong correlation between people who are thinking about or even planning or making attempts to end their lives by suicide.” — Kory Floyd on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“The process of communicating builds relationships and destroys relationships.” — Valerie Manusov on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“When a person is in the primary role of listener their behaviors are really important.” — Valerie Manusov on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“It is hard to know how someone else is going to interpret our behavior.” — Valerie Manusov on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Would you want to be treated the way you treat other people?” — Valerie Manusov on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“If you don’t deal with conflict, relationships tend to fade away.” — Valerie Manusov on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet



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