Connecting with loved ones, family, friends, and associates are important in this day and age. Many research studies have shown the vital importance of a close-knit community in helping people live longer and more fulfilling lives. Cultivating relationships are essential in establishing this support system. The ability to communicate clearly with others is a valued commodity in order to establish trust and loyalty.
How do we know when we are over-extending ourselves to please another, or have we gotten so habituated that it appears normal for us to behave in this manner, and not even realize that we are over-extending ourselves? Having been a people-pleaser for most of my life, it has taken me a while, with a bit of trial and error, and listening to my body signals, to understand when I am not in alignment with what is true for me. Knowing when a “yes” means “yes” instead of meaning “no”, just to avoid conflict or an uncomfortable situation. What I have discovered is the importance of knowing one’s truth and boundaries, and that it is essential for one to maintain them. In the long run it will serve you and your loved ones as well. The end goal is to achieve true “authenticity” and know one’s self-worth.
Often times we get caught up in the shoulds, ought tos, musts, and all the obligatory “have tos.” Whether it is a family member, close friend, or significant other, why is it so difficult to be true and call a spade a spade? There are many individuals out there who do not toil with this situation, but I have come across numerous individuals who create health ailments due to their inability to speak and live their truth. Self-knowledge when applied appropriately and at the right moment leads to wisdom. Self-knowledge is established over time and through diligence and practice leads to self-acceptance and self-love.
Health ailments are expressions of the body informing one that they are out of balance in their life. Sometimes the body will express pains to get a person to stop and reassess what they are currently doing in their life that need to be addressed and shifted. At other times, when a person is making improvements and transforming their life they may also experience pains or health ailments as well. Right now, you may be thinking, how can this be you? Why would a positive shift in a person’s life create pain or a health ailment? The reason is “change”. It takes time for us to deal with, and assimilate, change in our lives. Over time we become habituated in how we function and deal with certain situations. The moment we begin to shift the way we deal with certain circumstances, or try to shift our mindset and approach, there is a disturbance in the “force.” The “force” is our natural conditioned response to life situations.
So how do we find a way to keep true to ourselves and yet find a way to build solid interpersonal relationships? The key is in understanding that every relationship is a fifty-fifty contribution from both parties involved. Every interaction is equal by design, but many times people are attempting to establish their view point and be in the “right.”
Take for instance when someone is hurt by what their significant other or family member said to them, and want to maintain that they were hurt by the other person’s words. In their perception, being hurt by the other’s words is true for them, but by the same token, they are responsible for the way they are experiencing and feeling this event. It may be true that the other party could have expressed things differently, but if expressing their truth, and their intent was not to be mean or cruel, then who is right and who is wrong? The answer is that neither are right nor wrong, but both have contributed to the interaction and resulting situation.
One last point is the idea of compromise. How many of us have heard this term and how many of us truly understand its meaning and are able to truly compromise? What I have discovered is that although we attempt to compromise in our different interactions and relationships, many times compromise does not occur, and one party has to give in to the other party’s demands. Often times the one who holds the stronger boundary tends to get their way and the other one has to give in. This lends to silent resentments due to the fact that one gets their way and the other has to concede. Many times this type of interaction is like a seesaw and goes back and forth building up tension over time because each party wants to establish their position in the relationship. True compromise occurs when both parties are able to obtain what they desire. It may not be completely what they want, but at least both are able to establish a “win-win” result. By knowing one’s boundaries and what one is willing to do and not do, this will help to establish a proper compromise that is harmonious and leads to a balanced relationship.
If you can relate, or have a story to share, please comment below. There is a benefit in expressing and exchanging our stories. Let’s hear it!