I don't know why, but we all like to believe (consciously or subconsciously) that relationships are difficult. It is this belief, that translates into our actions and ends up making relationships complicated as hell!
Sounds weird? May be.
Over the years, I have realized that we as humans have developed and nurtured this tendency to complicate and magnify things in our minds. With so much happening around us, so many demands to fulfill, so many persons to attend to; we cannot keep things simple.
Unfortunately, one of the things that is essential for our existence, our relationships, end up suffering.
When we have a train of thoughts running in our minds, when we are busy building up scenarios in our heads, how many times do we actually communicate properly as to what's happening? Instead, we put our guards up-scream, shout, hurt the other person and then assume that he/she will understand.
How many times do we make the effort of expressing what we truly feel about something, before we blow up our fuse? We base our relationships on the assumption that our partners will understand everything that we do and will stand by us.
The only flaw in this assumption is, that we don't create room for what needs to be understood.
Relationships to begin with, demand open channels of communication. You may trust someone, understand them, depend on them, love them to death. Yet, all this renders itself meaningless the minute communication becomes flawed.Relationships are not about complains, arguments, sacrifices, name calling, demands etc.
They are about sharing. We are together because we would like to share our lives, experiences, memories, concerns, dreams with each other.
They are about growth - that we as individuals decide to grow together with each other and become the best that we can be.
They are about commitment - that no matter what, I'll be with you.
They are about emotions - that I understand what you're going through and I know, you do the same.
And more often than not, we don't communicate this to our loved ones at all.
Why guard yourself from the ones you think love you? Simply because, it may not turn out the way you would want it to?
Well, if that's the ultimate destination we create in our minds; we eventually lead ourselves there.
Here are some ways which can help us to improve and sustain our relationships:
KEEP IT SIMPLE: Relationships are simple. Every relationship needs to have an open channel of communication. If two people cannot receive and understand the other person's views, the it's about time they start working on it. Sometimes we don't have to read too much into what our partner has said. Sometimes, if we are unsure of what our partner means, it's a good idea to simply ask, rather than assume.
FOCUS ON FEELINGS: Relationships are built on feelings. Yes, love is a feeling and equally important are many other feelings that we experience every day. We all want to be heard and empathized with. But it's not possible if we don't communicate what we are feeling. If I am irritated with something, it's much easier to just say what's bugging me, rather than letting my partner continue with it and then flaring up later. Focusing on what I am feeling at the present moment, is a lot easier than hurting someone and then expecting them to understand.
FOCUS ON SPECIFICS: We muddle things up. Work issues get mixed up with in-laws, kids get mixed up with wives or husbands, parents get mixed up with siblings etc. In essence, things are not that complicated. One person is not the source of all problems! We tend to generalize and multiply things. Why not focus on specifics? When we say things like "Ever since I got married, I have been suffering" or "You are the root cause of all my problems," it's not just limited to words. It's no longer about venting out.
We are knowingly or unknowingly dumping all our issues on one person and this is not even entirely true! How can one person be responsible for everything? Expressions like these, only end up creating more and more hurt in our partners and force us to think within the confines of our flawed perception.
It's always better to focus on the problem at hand and solve it effectively.
FOCUS ON THE PRESENT: We love to live in the past. Yes, what happened 10 years ago makes for a good story. But is it always limited to a story? Doesn't it find a way to corrupt our present?
Is it really that hard to focus on what's happening now and to deal with it effectively so as to create a better past for the future?
ENSURE FEEDBACK: What we have understood needs to be communicated back because relationships and communication cannot be one-sided. Yet, many times we choose to ignore or take the route of silence as a temporary resort to the problem. However,we end up losing the track of time which makes this ignorance or silence persist for long. Thus,adding more issues to the already existing ones.
Yes, there is a certain level of complexity attached to every relationship and it will always be. But is there a need for us to add some of our own? Times have changed. We as humans, are traversing different paths and with time, doing it alone is just getting more and more difficult.
Perhaps, some small efforts can make our relationships go a long way.
It takes time. It takes patience and lots of conscious effort. But in the end, it's all worth it, isn't it?