How to sustain meaningful relationships

Good Morning Planet

Before we begin, let’s revisit our understanding of a meaningful relationship. Predominantly there are two sorts of relationships. One is referred to as therapeutic, wherein you enjoy your time together and get healthy. The other one is based on a primate dominance hierarchy in which one party is a slave, and the other one is a master. Such a relationship is mostly considered as unhealthy and damaging.

Let’s pause for a moment. Before understanding complexities involving relationships and how to overcome them, we need to understand if and why we need them. New age kids have found a pseudo mechanism wherein relationships are replaced with short term acquaintance. The Internet has brought people closer, but real feelings are farther distant than they were in medieval ages. The first step towards an amicable solution is understanding the importance of a meaningful relationship. I am going to make a powerful statement – We need people. Yes! Irrespective of how relative we consider freedom of existence, we cannot be totally free from the fundamental genetic, social component. Even a hermit is delighted with an occasional visitor and cherishes a disciple. In the same manner, meaningful relationships nourish us as human beings and help us get better.

Now comes the most challenging part: How to sustain a relationship? I have met countless individuals who have excellent social skills and make friends easily, but none of these relationships last longer than a few months. One must wonder why?

Well, the problem sounds complex, but the solution is too easy. We do not communicate. Communication means listening and then talking efficiently. Most of us in this fast-paced world skip the first step. We do not listen. We wait for our turn to speak. Whenever we meet someone, our primary goal is mostly to acquire dominance. We barely pay attention to what they are saying or feeling or expressing. We focus on putting our point across as quickly as possible. We are quick in brushing off their issues with remarks like – Ya I know, yup life’s difficult, shit happens, blah and blah and blah. What we fail to understand is we are undermining the importance of their personal conflicts and making them feel petty. This, in turn, helps us feel better, and we walk away from the conversation as a confident person. All we are doing is acting like a primate and giving way to our most basic primal urges.

A better way would be listening and trying to learn from the other person. Each individual would have at least one new thing to offer us, if we listen. We can always ask questions to seek clarity. We can always paraphrase. Instead of being on top of the conversation, we can stay in the conversation, and after a few such sessions, both the individuals would have a healthy flow of ideas. So if you really want to have a meaningful relationship unlike baboons: Listen.

That would be all folks!