“Relationship” as per dictionary means the state of being connected, and in today’s globally connected world, we all stand more connected than we were ever before in the history of world’s connectivity.
The credit to this connected state goes to the advancement of technology, shrinking the world to mere links or apps, which are smaller than the size of a thumbnail, yet effective in eliminating all possible boundaries that could create hindrance in being connected.
But even though technology has brought a paradigm shift in the way we communicate and connect,, one area that has not changed enough is the emotional dimension of relationships.
Human race continues to suffer, oscillating between the head and the heart, between the emotions of the amygdala to the rationale of the hypothalamus.
There is a lot of literature available on “how to improve relationships”, including plethora of tips and practical pieces of advice to strengthen it, whether you are a newly married couple, a parent of a teenager, a new mother juggling between her work and her newborn, a mid-age individual sandwiched between aged parents and young kids, a divorcee, a single parent, whoever it may be ,the fact remains, every individual at some point in time may have been through a phase of suffering within relations, and perhaphs had looked for advice, suggestions or solutions on managing it or improving it .
Going with the principle of root cause analysis, I believe the solution to this age-old issue lies in understanding the cause, rather exploring the outcomes or results, in lieu of the principal, this article is an attempt to focus on the basic cause and effect.
3 Reasons why relationships suffer :
1.0 — Incorrect perceptions and upbringing : During our growing years ,what most parents or guardians never pay attention to is ,the way they conduct themselves , and its impact on the psyche of a growing mind, an integral part of our upbringing is not merely the environment in which we grow up, but also the circumstance we encounter ,and the lessons learnt from each of it .Various scenarios and circumstances and the role of our parents and guardians in response to it play a vital role in shaping our perceptions, this is basically the foundation on which we perceive, develop and define our version of relationships.
In addition to this, the next most influencing factor is played by our favorite sportsmen, stars, drama artiste, people from cinema and the external world who in a way define for us, the kind of person we want to be, like—- the ideal parent, perfect spouse or a loving sibling we mostly draw our inspiration from these sources, which shapes our perception of perfect relationships.
And hence, when we encounter realities of life, most of us find ourselves in complete contrast to our very own concepts, perception, and definition of healthy and happy relations.
Therefore the first step to successful relationships lies in building the right concept about meaningful relations should start in the early years of life, which should include the complexities it holds and its ever-changing nature taking different meanings and dimensions with time, in short relationship concepts which are more closer to reality and are not idealistic.
2.0 — Investing in Relationships: this concept may sound for many like a new word or term because investment as a term has always been associated to money matters, or areas that reap benefits or profits, it is appalling to note, despite the crucial role relations plays in our life, this is one of the most neglected aspects of human relations.
This reason also ties back to the first point of perceptions and upbringing, within which investing in relations have never been taught or advocated. Some people even perceive it as putting up with one’s partner, spouse, parent, sibling or the other person, while it encompasses a mature approach to commitment, trust, and perseverance.
So what is it?
Investing in relations, simply put,— is what we provide to our relations in form of commitment, trust, loyalty, patience and perseverance with the aim of sustaining it over time and making it successful.
Any successful relationship is an outcome of an investment, over a period of time.
It’s imperative we teach our current and the next generation, the value of investing in relationships before it is lost in the unreal world of seeking instant gratification and shortcut approaches.
3.0 — Empathy: As per Gallup assessments, this is one of the rarest skills to be found, which gives human mind, the ability to understand and share the feeling of the other.
The most interesting part of this scarce skill lies not its existence but in its development which happens in the foundational years of life. The apathy is, this skill is seldom taught or is part of the upbringing, leaving most of the adults with heaps of “Empathy” inside them ungrown, and uncultivated.
The result of lack of empathy also creates lack of self-awareness, and in most cases, you will find the majority of individuals not only unaware of their feelings and emotions but equally failing to understand that of others. People lacking empathy also have self-centeredness taking roots in perceptions and decision making, where the world is only viewed from one dimension of the “SELF”, with a lot of importance attached to it, thinking it to be the only correct dimension.
These are just a few of the outcomes that stem from lack of empathy, but if we delve deeper, you will be surprised to find most of the sufferings within relations taking its roots in the lack of it (Empathy).
Cultivating this rare skill, in the current and next generation need to start from an early age, because just like its rarity, it also needs a lot of time to rear and become part of personality, which then can be eventually practiced in relationships.
The scope of this topic holds equal depth that of any human emotions, therefore let’s not consider these 3 points as an exhaustive representation of why relationships suffer, however, if we closely observe the pattern evolving from these factors, all of it lays emphasis on changes that are required to be incorporated, early on in the upbringing of the next generation, which perhaps will be a start to a new—- Tomorrow, to a new world with less “STRAINED” relations!
Most of what I’ve shared is based on my Life Coaching experiences, and the approach used in the coaching programs assisting my clients to build better relations .
Looking forward from my readers to contribute by sharing their experiences, suggestions or comments in the box below.