The quality of the relationships we have in life is directly proportional to how willing we are to consider the perspective of others. The one thing that we seem to neglect at times is respect towards ourselves in the first place. Due to our own needs and demanding lifestyle, our innate sense of community in modern society seems to be on the wane, however, it’s important to foster the art of loving ourselves before we can feel genuinely compassionate towards others as a way of giving back to society.
Self-worth embodies love, kindness and happiness that can be achieved when we look for it from within. There is no external event that can bring you happiness, so looking for it out there can only make things different in the short run. If we entrust our happiness with the obtainment of external factors, our happiness will suffer when things go wrong.
Consideration towards others can only be achieved when it is unconditional, e.g. when we accept the fact that all lives are linked and we look at this objectively regardless of how others make us feel whether we agree with them or not. This can bring out feelings of self-control because we make conscious decisions around dictating how we want to feel. There is nothing out there that’s capable of making you feel anything but yourself.
Regarding relationships, we can certainly nurture them by means of self-control and that we can only develop when we mature a detached attitude from our minds. This can allow us to be less defensive when we relate to people or when we try to win an argument at all costs etc. We then avoid placing importance on who is right or wrong and we focus on the solution as we see things objectively.
So why are our current relationships ‘stuck’ where they are and not where we would like them to be? This is the problem: no one is making the first move and consequently things will remain the same and can even deteriorate. When one person in the relationship begins to change, the other person may experience a crisis where they lose the security of knowing where they stood. Losing that comfort can only be a positive thing if we are ready to accept that things will inevitably change and we embrace crisis. If not, things will stay the same.
In romantic relationships, when one outgrows the other, both will eventually end up growing apart. The same applies to people who eventually break away from groups of people sharing uniform values. One or two people involved will at some point step outside of their comfort zone and take chances. This is when they will start to grow.
In summary, relationships can become incompatible due to a gap in maturity and a gap in growth; equally if we wish to experience a relationship in full, we need to exercise compassion towards both ourselves and others. This is achieved when we acknowledge both the positive and negative aspects such as joy / pain and approach it with kindness. We can otherwise prefer people to be different, but the reality is we are not in control of this.
Another key aspect to improve our relationships is acceptance. Acceptance is one of the first steps to improve our relationships because it helps us discern between unrealistic desires and the reality for what it is. If we try to live by these principles, we can then manage what we can expect from other people. However, it’s important to remember that relationships will only evolve if those involved have the motivation to grow together. The absence of this mutual willingness will eventually make it inevitable for people to grow apart.