On one hand, one can have relationships with others that are deep, and on the other hand, they can have ones that are shallow. When it comes to the later, this could relate to the people they see at work or on the odd occasion, for instance.
And when it comes to the former, it could relate to the people they see on a regular basis and their family, for instance. Having said that, one could be in a position where they experience a deeper connection with the people they work with and at the same time; they might not be very close to their family.
However, this might not be the case either and one might not experience a deeper connection with anyone. There is then a strong chance that their life is not going to be as fulfilling as it could be.
It won’t matter how successful they are in their career, as this is not going to make up for what is missing in another area of their life. But when one doesn’t realise that they can’t use their career to meet this need, they can end up putting all their energy into this area.
At a deeper level, they can believe that the success they experience in this area of their life will make up for what is not taking place in the other areas of their life. And while there is the chance that it will fulfil a number of their needs, it won’t meet all of them.
So although one can realise what is taking place after a while; they could end up ignoring anything that goes against what they believe. In the short-term, this may allow them to avoid pain; but the longer they ignore what is taking place within them, the harder their life will become.
A Deeper Connection
Alternatively, when one has a deeper connection with the people in their life, they might not have the same amount of drive. And this is because they won’t be trying to compensate for something that is missing.
Yet if they do have a strong drive, it can mean that they are not using their career to avoid feeling lonely, for instance. During their time with someone they are close to, there will be what one shares and there will be what the other person shares.
As a result of this, it will be a relationship that is based on a give and take as opposed to one that is one-sided. This doesn’t mean that each interaction they have will be in balance; what it means is that each person’s needs will be met.
Another way of looking at this would be to say that it will be an adult to adult relationship and not a parent child relationship. This wouldn’t be the case if one was always taking the time to be there for another but they were unable to be there for them, or if one always received and didn’t bother to give.
One of their friends could get in touch with them and they could arrange to meet for a coffee, for instance, and this could then be a time where they want to talk about what has been taking place in their life. Perhaps they are going through a challenging time at work or they might have trouble with their relationship.
Either way, it will be important for one to listen to what is being said, as this will show that they respect them. This could be a time where they are just looking to express what is taking place in their life or they may want one to offer their advice.
And when one is listening to what is being said, they could also put themselves in the other persons shoes, so to speak. During this time, one can tune into the other persons experience and this will allow them to get a better understanding of what they are going through.
Along with this, one will also care about what the other person is going through, and this is likely to be something that the other person will pick up on. They can end up feeling as though they can trust them and this will enable them to feel comfortable.
Through feeling comfortable, there can no reason for them to hold anything back and this will have a positive effect on their relationship. There can then be the chance that the other person will want to return the favour.
This can also take place when one is in a romantic relationship with someone, and there can be a greater chance that the other person will open up to them. One could be in the early stages of a relationship and their partner could talk about how they feel or what they have been through in their life.
Now, if one was to tune into the other persons experience and encouraged them to express themselves, they will be showing the other person that they care about them. Their need to judge is put to one side and they are listening with their heart.
Their relationship can then go to a deeper level and one will be showing their partner that there is no need for them to hold anything back. And as long as the other person has this ability, this will be an experience that one will also have.
However, if their partner was to open up and one had no interest in what is taking place for them, it is unlikely to have a positive effect on the relationship. This could then cause them to come to the conclusion that one doesn’t care about them and they may feel the need to hide their true feelings.
One could show their disinterest by walking away, changing the subject or by simply talking over them. It then won’t be possible for a deeper connection to form and the relationship could soon come to an end.
There can be a number of reasons as to why one is unable to empathise with another person, and one thing it can show is that one is carrying a lot of emotional pain. Therefore, if they were to get in touch with how another person feels, it would cause them to embrace how they feel.
So until they are willing to process their own pain, it is not going to be possible for them to be a whole human being. If one can relate to this and they want to change their life, it will be important for them to reach out for external support.
This can be provided by a therapist and/or a support group.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.