Jeong – The Korean Practice Of Cultivating Deep Connection


Jeong is a Korean concept that embodies deep emotional bonds, empathy, and a sense of community and interconnectedness. It transcends simple affection and encompasses a wide range of positive emotions and social ties.


In Korean culture, Jeong is highly valued and is seen as a crucial component of building and maintaining strong, meaningful relationships. Jeong can be applied in various social, organizational, and personal contexts to enhance relationships, foster community spirit, and promote empathy and understanding. It is particularly valuable in team building, conflict resolution, and enhancing workplace culture. The depth of Jeong is often expressed through acts of selflessness, sacrifice, and unconditional support. It is a bond that transcends mere words and is demonstrated through actions, empathy, and a genuine understanding of the other person's emotions and needs.


Jeong is a multifaceted Korean term that signifies a profound, often unspoken connection between people. It is an emotional bond that goes beyond superficial relationships, encompassing love, care, and a deep sense of loyalty and attachment. Jeong can develop over time through shared experiences, mutual support, and consistent interaction. Jeong is not limited to romantic relationships but extends to familial ties, friendships, and even professional relationships. It is a force that binds people together, fostering a sense of belonging, loyalty, and a willingness to go above and beyond for those with whom one shares a strong Jeong. It is believed that the deeper the Jeong, the stronger the bond between individuals, and the more they are willing to support and care for one another. Key characteristics of Jeong include:
  • Emotional Bond: A deep, empathetic connection that is both emotional and psychological.
  • Reciprocity: Mutual exchange of care and support.
  • Longevity: Jeong often strengthens and deepens over time.
  • Community and Belonging: A sense of collective identity and belonging within a group.
In the context of relationships, Jeong can be powerful. Here’s how:
  • Shared Experiences: Jeong often develops through shared experiences, whether they are moments of joy, hardship, or everyday life. By spending time together and creating memories, individuals can foster a deeper connection.
  • Mutual Care and Understanding: Jeong involves a deep sense of care and understanding for one another. It’s about being there for each other, listening, and empathizing. This kind of emotional support can strengthen relationships and build trust. The focus is on understanding people rather than trying to change them which can deepen our connections and reveal our interconnectedness.
  • Reciprocity and Altruism: Jeong thrives on reciprocal altruism, where acts of kindness and care are exchanged without the expectation of immediate return. This creates a positive reinforcement loop, as described in the flowchart of reciprocal altruism. When we share and care for others in a non-calculated way, we invite them into a relationship built on trust and mutual respect.
  • Emotional Bonding: Jeong is about emotional bonding that transcends superficial interactions. It’s about being real and expressing our true selves, including our spiritual nature.
  • Building Resiliency: Relationships built on Jeong have the resiliency to handle difficult conversations and conflicts. When we prioritize the relationship over being right, we create a foundation of trust and goodwill. This allows us to engage in meaningful dialogues and navigate challenges together.
  • Community Building: Jeong extends beyond individual relationships to the community level. It fosters a sense of belonging and collective responsibility. By engaging in small acts of service and building connections with others, we contribute to a larger network of care and support, much like the community initiatives we champion at ServiceSpace.
In practical terms, fostering Jeong within a community or organization can lead to more cohesive teams, higher levels of trust, and a supportive environment where individuals feel valued and understood.

Sample Activity

Jeong can be practiced in how we live and treat others:
  • Shared Experiences: Engage in activities together that create lasting memories. This could be anything from traveling, cooking a meal together, volunteering, or simply spending quality time in each other’s company. Shared experiences build a foundation of common memories and understanding.
  • Active Listening: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the other person without thinking of a response while they are speaking. Maintain consistent eye contact, mirror their body positioning, and create space with silence during the conversation. This helps the other person feel deeply heard and valued.
  • Acts of Kindness: Small acts of kindness can significantly strengthen bonds. Whether it’s helping with a task, offering a thoughtful gift, or simply being there in times of need, these actions show care and consideration, nurturing the bond of Jeong.
  • Express Gratitude: Regularly express gratitude for the other person. Acknowledge and appreciate their presence in your life and the positive impact they have on you. This can be done through words, notes, or gestures.
  • Emotional Support: Be there for each other during both good times and bad. Offering emotional support, whether through listening, comforting, or providing advice, helps build trust and a deeper connection.
  • Consistent Communication: Keep in touch regularly, even if it’s just a quick message or call. Consistent communication helps maintain the relationship and shows that you value the other person.
  • Empathy and Understanding: Make an effort to understand the other person’s feelings, perspectives, and experiences. Show empathy by validating their emotions and being supportive.
  • Quality Time: Spend quality time together without distractions. This could be as simple as having a meal together, going for a walk, or engaging in a shared hobby. The key is to be fully present and engaged.
  • Celebrate Together: Celebrate each other’s successes and milestones. Whether big or small, acknowledging and rejoicing in each other’s achievements strengthens the bond.


Jeong is a concept and practice that originates in Korea.

Target Audience:

  • Everyone
  • Teams 
  • Facilitators
  • Educators

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