How to form and sustain healthy relationships Part 1 – Honesty

More often than not, I am inspired to share stories or insights with my readers after sessions with people I accompany. This time around is no different.

I often hear how people are afraid to be authentic in their relationships for fear of being rejected. How they will go along with plans and ideas that do not interest them in the least (or, even worse, could be harmful to them) so as to avoid being left out or fired or rejected. How they will make “sacrifices” and suppress their own needs and desires lest their significant other/friend/parent/sister/you name it not love them anymore.

These are issues that I have had to figure out for myself too as, I believe, most of us have. It all stems from our childhood and the modifications that we have had to make in our behavior in order to meet our parents’ expectations, in order to feel accepted and thus be taken care of. Man is a resourceful creature from birth. We will adapt to any situation when our survival is at stake. So when we are little, we learn which behaviors are acceptable and lead to approval therefore care (interpreted as love) which equals survival. This is one of the ways conditioning occurs but I do not want to get into that right  now.

Instead, I would like to focus on what we can do now to change these patterns of behavior which did serve us well at one point in our lives but which are becoming real obstacles (or blocks as some of the people I accompany call them) to our personal development, fulfilment, well-being and eventually health and happiness.

How many times have we heard “Honesty is the best policy”. And how many times have we asked ourselves “Really? The best policy? I do not think so. It will only get me into trouble”.

Honesty, as all things (acceptance, tolerance, compassion, love etc) starts from within. We are honest with ourselves when our YESes and our NOs are in alignment with what we really want to say, with how we feel, with what our instinct (or call it intuition if you want) is telling us

Why are we afraid to be honest?

The first reason why is because we cannot take “rejection” ourselves! We cannot stand a NO. We take a NO to a demand/idea/suggestion etc as a flat out rejection to who we are. We cannot separate our true essence, our being, from our intellect. We cannot understand that our value lies in our mere existence and not in the “(by) products” of our brains (or our bodies). Once we dissociate these two completely separate things, we might have taken the first step towards honesty.

The second reason why is because we are afraid of losing someone from our lives. We are afraid that if we say no, the relationship will fall apart. I can understand being afraid to say NO to an employer or an authority which could put our “survival” in danger. But why are we afraid to say NO to a loved one? Why do we not trust them enough so as to be able to be authentic with them? If they love us back, they will accept our NO. If they do not, and they only “love” us when we say YES. If a relationship exists only because we sacrifice ourselves (and by sacrifice I mean even the “little” things like getting some rest when we need it instead of running an errand for someone) otherwise we will lose it, is that a true relationship?

How far are you willing to go to sustain such relationships?

To be continued…

2 Comments

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