Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Relationships - How do they work and do they?


Simple question it would seem. I have to say - I really do not know because I am still working on my relationships and they are all a work in progress. Each relationship we have, whether as a parent of a child, child of a parent, sibling, relative, friend or otherwise (yes, we do have relationships with our enemies too) each relationship is different. Whether we give or receive or take or be or the relationship changes is up to us in the relationship.
It is very easy at times for an individual to see where their relationship with someone is going and at other times it is often obvious that a relationship will not survive because of the different expectations of the two parties involved. At other times, it is not so obvious as the two parties have set up roles for the other which is in conflict with the reality of the relationship held by the other person.
   Interestingly the boundaries of relationships on the internet are often more clearly defined in cyberspace than in real life.
   I have come to the following conclusions lately. In our relationships in real life we want to be accepted and liked. We are often not our own person. We often compromise and those compromises are part of getting on and conforming to social models in our communities and social groupings. We often do go out of our comfort zone, so to speak, to be accepted by a particular community or peer groups within our communities. This is normal. It is part of our socialisation process and the way we conform to 'fit in' to make ourselves comfortable to others in the broader community. In our closer circle and by closer circle, I mean family, we may be so comfortable as to be ourselves to such an extent, we do not care if we offend people or we are not seen as 'nice' to deal with. We push and create our own boundaries and we may attempt to make people conform to our idea of what family should be, rather than the reality that that person may have their own personality and traits and we should respect that but we do not. When a person is so forceful or actually so oppressive in their relationships within the family that they do not want any deviation from the model they have set up - and I am not talking about religion or lifestyle - I am talking about when a family member or members bully another member of the family to the point of a mental breakdown in order for that person to 'conform to a certain way of viewing the world and if they deviate they are then seen as 'bad or wrong people'. I am not referring to commonsense aspects but something that happens on a very basic level of social and human interaction. It is as if that family member is not acknowledged or validated as a 'real person'. What is under attack is the essence of the person.
   I could give an example of a family of vegans and all of a sudden a child in that family decides that they do not want to be a vegan but to eat meat. So if the other family members then decided that the non vegan was persona non gratia and began to exclude him or her from the family group. They were given no choice about whether to join into family celebrations, but deliberately not told or not invited. The person continues unaware for some time that the relationship is unequal. He or she feels the same way about his family members, love and concern, as well as affection, but it is not returned. In fact, it sets the scene for a particular kind of abuse. The hurt and fear from rejection of the singled out family member is cruel and is often enjoyed by the family members that partake in it. The 'odd' family member is somehow seen as flawed and a form of amusement to the others. There is a level of cruelty in the relationship that is quite uncanny but in a way understandable because if it was pointed out to the perpetrators they would find it hard to understand what all the fuss is about.
They have no idea of denial of personal validation as an individual. They depict the person as 'different and they then place that person under attack. Because if you are different, then you are somehow wrong. Simple and they will form the sort of relationship that they think you derserve.
In cyber space we create alter egos of who we want to be and we are either more accepting of differences or less accepting. Think about it. Who is the real you and who are your real friends and family? How do your relationships differ? It is worth examining.

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