WIN OR LOSE OF RELATING
Relating is a TWO way exchange. Two way communication, mutual affection, and resulting CONNECTION.
We pride ourselves on having great relationships with our partners and children, but how much of that ‘relating’ is a just a one way street?
Do our children feel heard and understood? Are their views RESPECTED?
And how did we feel as children? Were our views respected?
‘I know best what you need. Now eat your food and stop being angry with me!’ we bark at our children. Their thoughts and emotions are, sadly, just a nuisance - just another frustrating hurdle to overcome with INVALIDATION.
Why are we so obsessed with staying in control? We use various tactics, withdrawing our attention, or being sickenigly sweet - threats, OR treats - A QUICK FIX; a small plaster on a wound which bleeds from the depths of our being...
Why are we manipulating our way through relationships?
Because we learned that it is the fast way to get what we want!
We want others to 'behave RIGHT NOW !' and we are stomping our feet... Our parents stomped their feet with us too, steering us into THEIR way of what is acceptable to them. The more we were controlled by other’s ideas of what is OK for them, the more we allow our own sense of righteousness to be the narrative of the lives of others today. Our egotistical mind likes to win at all costs, only not to feel like a powerless loser.
Our sense of powerlessness deepened every time our parents trampled over our personal boundaries. The more our sense of who we are got attacked, the more defensive we became. The more often our authentic self got manipulated into how we ‘should act and feel’, the more manipulative we became to get what we want. We were essentially taught that if we cannot win and 'be right', we cannot be happy. We named this short-sighted sense of satisfaction happiness, driven by our insatiable need to judge others, only to crown ourselves as those who outsmarted them. Endless POWER STRUGGLE keeps our monstrous Ego going. The game of importance is ON. But this isn’t the only game we play... chess, poker, or monopoly - which one is your favourite ? Sure thing is that if you are playing games with others, they are playing them with you too…
But relationships aren’t about playing tricks on others, are they?
OK then, lets rewind back to the start...
What if, when our parents spoke to us, we also had a voice to speak back? What if others communication didn’t represent OPPRESSION but rather an EXPRESSION of one’s feelings and points of view. What if their ideas came with their choices to be discussed? ‘I don’t have time for that to be fair. I need the kids be in bed/eat/be dressed fast.’ No, you don’t have time for their opinions to be discussed nor you have the patience to hear their points of view. And you certainly don’t have respect for their feelings because your parents didn’t have any respect for yours. They, too, were busy. Busy to listen to you, busy to understand you and busy to consider your opinion. ‘I know what I am doing, you are too small to understand this.’ we turn our back on our children who have their sense of true self more than we do.
‘Be quiet and do as I say, or…’ Crushing their boundaries by silencing their Authentic Selves, we make them feel small and disempowered…
What kind of relating and communication do we model to others?
When you feel being heard, when your feelings are considered and empathised with, you feel VALIDATED - IMPORTANT.
What if we truly related to others, starting with our children. What if we allowed them to have their opinions, respected their views. What if our communication was back and forth - respecting this space as a CO-CREATION of a mutual connection at work? What if we welcomed counter-arguments as a way of moving THROUGH them? What if our relating took us to a higher ground where others words are being heard and their feelings empathised with? What if others related back to us from a place of EMPOWERMENT, feeling calm and safe?
And yes it takes time, but our sense of satisfaction grows in proportion to our efforts. Our false sense of gratification typically doesn't last beyond a single won argument if all we like to do is to make others wrong. This is how we get addicted to drama. We feel the need to strir the crap every so often to feel better about ourselves by winning yet another battle...
You see, without accepting that others see things from a different angle, we don't actually have a relationship. Because TRUE RELATING isn't about winning or losing, but about getting our ass out of our rabbit hole and seeing life through someone else’s lens but our own. And that is called respect...
Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.
Copyright © 2017 Michaela Patel