Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On Relationships

Our relationships are a main source of our vital energy. Practicing good relationships induces an amazing level of satisfaction.Therefore, it is important to study them.

Part I: Moderation
Last evening, in a sequence of events three (male) colleagues completely ignored me.  Unfortunately, I considered one of them a good friend. This is the second time in the last couple of months that I have realized a (supposed) friend is not really a friend as I had thought. Depending on the level of your emotional investment in the relationship, such realizations can result in mild sadness or a very deep sense of loss and sorrow.
The lesson to be learned is to avoid making friends in the work place, or more generally in situations that you "have" to meet a group of people frequently, for the following reasons:
  1. In such situations, people "need" to be polite and the politeness can be easily confused with friendship.
  2. Once you realize your mistake, you cannot avoid painful contacts with your (supposed) friend.
  3. It is more difficult to be moderate in such situations because of frequent contacts. Excessive contact, especially in the initial phases of a friendship, easily ruins the whole thing!
My best friendships nowadays are forming with people that I see once in few weeks or even months. When you see a friend after a couple of months, you can easily feel emotions like happiness and love in the air. In contrast, if you see a friend after a long time and all you see on his/her face is a polite smile then suspect that the friendship is unilateral.

Part II: Taking Responsibility
In a bad relationship, every party that can make decisions is an abuser (not just a victim). The clear example is in "addictive" relationships with nonhuman parties such as drugs, alcohol, food, TV, internet, games, and porn. With moderation, all these relationships remain healthy, but the problem starts when we try to over-indulge in a relationship to cover our pains. Even though addicts typically picture themselves as victims, but to an outside observer it is evident that they are abusers!
Similar idea extends to human relationships. Even when one party is over-indulging in the relationship and clearly is abuser, the other side is also empowering the abusive relationship (out of many possible reasons), and becomes an abuser in a certain way.

This insight becomes important because in abusive relationships one has the tendency to swing between two extremes: I am the sole abuser and everything is my fault, and I am the victim and everything is the other person's fault. The truth is that both sides are abusers as well as victims, and in many situations, the best approach is simply ending an abusive relationship without feeling pity for ourselves or for our (supposed) friends!

Part III: Letting Go
What is the best way to end a destructive relationships? I think communication is an essential part of a relationship and this may apply to ending a relationship too. On the other hand, we may think of terminating a relationship as an act of "letting go". I am not good with letting go in general, but my experiences have shown me that "letting go" requires a clear decision followed by a clean implementation. Most people (including me), pain themselves by going through memories of failed relationships. This is a form of self-indulgence and self-pity.

Any comment or sharing experiences is well appreciated!


Self-importance is probably the most destructive factor for relationships:

"You take yourself too seriously, ... You are so goddamn important that you feel justified to be annoyed with everything. You are so damn important that you can afford to leave if things don't go your way. I suppose you think that shows your character. That's nonsense! You're weak, and conceited!"
"As long as you feel that you are the most important thing in the world you cannot really appreciate the world around you. You are like a horse with blinders, all you see is yourself apart from everything else."
"From now on talk to little plants," he said. "Talk until you lose all sense of importance. Talk to them until you can do it in front of others."
"It doesn't matter what you say to a plant," he said. You can just as well make up words; what's important is the feeling of liking it, and treating it as an equal." --- Journey to Ixtlan, pp. 21-23

SeGah is one of the saddest tunes in Iranian music. Here is a piece in SeGah, Voice: Shajarian, Tar: Shahnaz, Poem: Hafez



  1. Thanks for the great post. You made me think about my relatiohships.I am going to write about it very soon.


IT'S NOT ...

.. ``It's not your spread, and it's not how strong you are, and it's not how fast you are, because you have all those thing...