As Humans, we are related to many of our fellow human beings. Some of these relations are biological in nature, some through social interactions and peer pressures, some just on a need to know or information basis, as part of an organization or a common theme such as parents of children at the same school or play group.
It is interesting to explore if and how we relate. Do we relate in a relative sense or just for the sake of being related? All our relations with different people seem to be need based or expectation based.
What is a real relation then? Is being a relative the same as being related?
Being Friends, Relatives, Family Members is supposed to make us feel secure, comfortable, fulfilled and happy or contented in the relationship but are we able to really feel that relatedness? Don’t we, sometimes if not often, feel lonely, left behind, ignored, used or manipulated even within these “comfortable” relationships?
How do we related with others? Do we relate to others in the sense of being related or do we expect something or the other from the relationship- whether it is material gains, emotional sustenance, social recognition and interaction, or even an identity. Maybe even to climb the social ladder. or Just to fit in. Do we get upset when the other person is not able to meet our needs or expectations from the relationship? Can we relate to others without any expectations, just for the pleasure of knowing, interacting and relating with each other?
As social beings, humans have to relate to be part of a society. Can these relations be unconditional like that of a baby, like a flower that blooms or a fruit that ripens ((maybe the flowers and fruits have conditions of their own!).
How do we then relate without our expectations and needs from the relationship leading to disappointment or hurt? Is relating to our self comfortably a solution? Yes, I need material and will work myself for the material I need, I don’t need a relationship to get that material. Yes, I need an emotional outlet or sustenance, and shall share my feelings with with you without expecting you to share your feelings with me. Yes, I will keep in touch with people but without expecting that they have to keep in touch with us. Is that possible or feasible? Is this the solution? Does it improve the feeling of relatedness or does it increase the disconnect?
Even within the family, if we rely on ourselves alone, does that make us emotionally connected or do we have to limit our expectations to only those whom we feel are “close” to us. Tempering expectations or flexibility in expectations may be a better option.
Don’t we have expectation even when we relate to God? Is it possible that our expectations may be unrealistic, unreasonable? Do we have to assess and reassess the rationale or logic behind all our expectations. Does that make us feel better related? Is there an individual significance that will change for how we relate to each person?
There are no easy answers for these questions although introspecting over these questions within the context of our relationships maybe useful. Understanding the basis for the relationship, the expectations, the need to be self sufficient, the need to approach a relationship with an open mind and tempered or no expectations might be the way to avoid disappointments and hurt in relationships. Now, the scope and parameters of the relationship is an individual choice…and frankly, easier said than done!