All healthy relationships should have equal serve and return. Being social animals, our need for human connection is vital to our physical and emotional well-being.
The first criteria of a fulfilling relationship are to be truly understood by another person without trying too hard. And the second is to be accepted without judgment for who we indeed are. Understanding and acceptance are the essentials of any fulfilling relationship.
Being Lucky In Our Relationships
It does not have to just be in a romantic relationship or friendship. If one is very lucky one can find these in one’s family. However, many a time one may bump into just the person who seems to know us intuitively.
That sweet feeling of having someone who is on the same wavelength, where words are not required to elaborate on what is not being said and yet being understood and accepted.
Graham Greene On Being Understood
The feeling of being understood and accepted has been very nicely demonstrated in the short story “The Shocking Accident”, by Graham Greene. He writes about a character named Jerome whose father was killed when a pig falls on him. As Jerome gets older, he realizes that most people find it hilarious to hear about the actual cause of his father’s death. It hurts him because most people don’t understand his loss.
Furthermore, his friends find the incident humorous which makes him want to hide that part of his life. Till he meets his fiancée Sally. Jerome was worried about telling Sally about the real truth about his father’s death. He was afraid that she too would see it as funny and laugh at the story just like every other person did.
However, to his surprise, Sally accepts his father’s death as a mourning event, instead of a humorous joke. This changes him, “Jerome’s heart sang with joy. It was as though she had appeased his fear forever.”
Different Paths and Acceptance
Sure you need people, but do you need to compromise the real you to be liked? Having listened to Brené Brown’s talk on vulnerability has made me realize that showing our vulnerable aspects, the hurts, and the struggles at the beginning of a relationship makes more sense than hiding those aspects till one is deep into a relationship.
Moreover, I have realized that each one of us is at different stages in our life journey. There is no point in pushing a relationship or forcing a person to understand and accept your life story. There is no point in dragging a reluctant mule along. As a survivor of childhood abuse, it has not been easy letting go of people who don’t nourish me.
Don Miguel’s Second Agreement
The most important lesson I learned about dealing with rejection and uncaring people is truly understanding Don Miguel’s Second Agreement. That how people treat you has nothing to do with you. It is because of themselves. People are busy living their own dreams, in their own minds. Their world is a completely different world from the one you live in.
I have realized that the smart and wise thing to do with people who don’t understand and accept us for who we are is to just pull the plug. Just delete, unsubscribe or block that person. It may seem cruel but would you rather deal with feelings of hurt and rejection constantly? You don’t need to be nice when you don’t feel nice.
Communicating Our Needs
Nonetheless, what is the point of having people in our lives who don’t support us, care about us, listen to us, and understand us? As I get older, I feel it is a waste of time trying to appease someone, to be accepted.
Do I really want to be in a relationship where I need to show only my positive side, the good things? No, I realized hiding the real me takes energy which could be better used for improving some aspects of me. Communicate your needs, if you really want to save your energy. You have to be brave and accept whatever the outcome.
Communication – connect the dots | Amy Scott
If a person does not accept or understand who you really are, it does not make sense to continue with the relationship. Sure it takes time for a relationship to grow, where one truly knows the other.
However, sometimes it is best to let go and make space for a truly fulfilling relationship where you are truly understood and accepted.
Featured photo credit: Pixabay
Power of Attachment – Diane Heller
Becoming Attached – Robert Karen