Relationships are defined as human connections between two or more people. They are complex, puzzled, specific, and yet dynamic in nature. Why do we need to learn about the complexity of relationships, and why does it matter to an individual in any way? Well, from my perspective, I have experienced very bizarre and unusual relationships myself. Going from good to bad and bad to worse. Coming back from the brink of separation to breaking up. But it is not always about our friends or life partners that we choose. Even blood-bound relationships tend to rupture at times. Later the frictions result in the communication gap or the dreaded silent treatment.
Why Do Relationships Fail?
One of the biggest reasons why any relationship fails is the communication gap.
There are three major features of the communication gap-
- Intermixing communication with arguments and forgetting a significant step – listening to the other person.
- Making assumptions and doubting the intention of another person without clarifying the matter.
- Tug of war between feeling, sentiments on one side and logic, facts on the other side. A moment of clarity free from emotions to look at the logic is required for one person. For the other person, the ability to understand the emotional value in the argument is essential.
Mutual respect is the building block of any relationship. Effective communication involves conveying our message effectively and respectfully to the other person making sure that they listen and understand our reasoning and respond to our feelings. Constructive feedback from our loved ones always helps. The give and take aspect of communication must be completed. Unless that happens, the two people will never understand and empathize with each other, and the scuffle will go on, no matter what.
How to Strengthen Relationships?
Many people read articles on how to strengthen relationships or how to be in a relationship. And all these articles have some pointers like time, trust, loyalty, respect, communication, and love in common. But do we actually ever follow what we read? Do we ever think about the specific tips of communication given in the books and follow them when an argument eventually breaks out? I assume the answer is no because this is practically impossible. When we are in any relationship, we are not only attached just for the sake of it, but we are humans, and we tend to implicate emotions in everything. Similarly, in any relationship, we have some specific emotions tied to it. This is why we get excited when we talk about something happy or get sad when we hear about something unfortunate. It’s beyond our control.
It is a basic human tendency to be in control of our surroundings. The anxiety that results from our inability to control the relationship is very natural. Therefore, the emotional outburst occurs instinctively. We shout when we are angry, we cry when we are sad. We feel all emotions, and we must be in touch with all our emotions because we are humans and not robots. Relationships and emotions can’t be controlled. However, they can be properly channelized. We must be careful when we communicate emotionally. The words we chose and the way we use them have long-lasting effects. Four things can’t be taken back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past, and the neglected opportunity. Under no circumstances should we sway away in our feelings of rage and say things we are not supposed to—the things which will make us regret later.
Communication is the Key for Happy Relationships
Being a skillful communicator makes us powerful. It is our responsibility to use the words wisely. In my opinion, we can only create healthy relationships if we can control our words over our own emotions and thoughts during difficult situations. Well, it is not easy. We must learn how to communicate and when to communicate. Relationships are fragile. If we intend to retain them forever, then we must do whatever is required to preserve them. It’s important to work on ourselves and be our best version to build strong relationships. Mistakes are made, but honest communication, a sincere apology, and corrective action can any day save the relationship. In a relationship, respect is earned. It can never be snatched.
Ego is the Relationship Killer
Apart from the communication gap, several factors affect relationships. Ego is one of them. When a person is not ready to accept another person’s viewpoint or is too arrogant to admit his/her own mistake, the relationship is bound to be disastrous. The narcissist illusion of what we do or what we say is always right spells doom for the relationship. Self-confidence and individualistic identity are good, but being open-minded to other person’s perspectives is equally important. Believing ourselves to be all-knowing and smarter than everybody else weakens our ability to empathize and relate with others.
A human being in-spite of numerable problems is bound to be a social creature. Humans need each other for love, support, and validation. Every person has a story to tell, and all stories have unique characters. If we speculate ourselves to be the hero of our story, people in our lives are reduced to being merely secondary characters. Each individual must be appreciated and respected in his/her own right. A self-absorbed or narcissistic person can never appreciate others for who they are. Life is an art, and we learn it as we live it. If we want to acquire further knowledge, we must keep on going and never give up. We might get hurt or unintentionally hurt others in this journey, but life is an experience and worth living.