If human beings were inherently independent, it wouldn’t matter if someone didn't have relationships with other people; as they would be able to just carry on with their life. But as human beings and everything else on this planet is interdependent, it means that relationships play a vital part in someone’s life.
And not only do relationships play a part in one being able to survive, they can also allow one to thrive. One only needs to meet one person and their whole life could change and one could have the same affect on another.
This is not just any change though; one area of one’s life or their whole life could be elevated. From that moment onwards, their life is never the same again. Although this is the ideal, it is also possible for one to meet someone who doesn’t enhance their life.
What they do is make their life difficult and ones wellbeing is likely to erode when they are in their presence. And even when one is not around them, they could feel decentred.
Just because someone has a relationship with another person, it doesn’t mean that this is based around them having an emotional connection. This could be classed as a surface level connection; with one just sharing what they have been doing and not about how they have been feeling.
Of course, one is not necessarily going to have the need to express how they feel all of the time, but in this kind of relationship, this is something that will never take place, no matter what is going on for them.
So when relationship doesn’t go into the emotional realm, it is unlikely going to have the same meaning as if this was the case. Talking about everyday events, what other people have been doing or what one thinks they should be saying, is not going to be enough.
However, when one has a relationship with another person and they do talk about how they feel and open up, without needing to moderate what they say, it is going to be a very different connection. And this could be with ones partner, a friend or a family member.
Not only are they opening their mind to this person, they are also opening their heart. This might sound a bit over the top and even something that only women can and should do, and yet both genders’ have the need to experience emotional connections with others.
The heart is where one feels and it is harder for one to open their heart than it is for them to open their mind. There is more at stake here and one has to feel that it is safe for them to open up.
If one doesn’t feel safe in another persons presence, they are not going to open up, at least voluntarily. And the same goes for others, if they don’t feel safe in ones presence, they won’t open up either.
This won’t just be the heart to hearts that can happen every now and then, it can be something that is part of every conversation that one has with another person. So, the difference between someone sharing every part of who they are or only sharing a small part of themselves.
When one does feel safe with another, it is generally going to be something that happens without them having to consciously think about it. This is not to say that one will always end trusting the right people though; as some people might put on an act in the early stages.
But with that aside, one will just feel safe and find it relatively easy to open up. If one was to break this process down, they would notice that certain things are happening and certain things are not happening.
And one of the biggest reasons why someone would feel that it is safe is because they feel accepted. The other person is giving them the impression verbally and non-verbally that they don’t have to watch what they say; revealing who they are can then be fairly straight forward.
This is not to say that one will feel safe straight away and yet this can happen. It will usually take a while and be a gradual process; with trust building each and every time another person accepts what they have to say.
When this trust has grown to a reasonable level, one will know that they can reveal who they are. Experiencing a deep and fulfilling connection will then be a natural consequence.
If one doesn’t feel safe, it is going to be due to them coming to the conclusion, either consciously or unconsciously, that the other person doesn’t accept them. It won’t be possible for one to feel safe and they will have no other choice than to close up.
Physically one might be there, but emotionally they could have checked out or they might end up leaving altogether.
Perhaps another person has verbally demonstrated this or it could be something that is done in ways that are more subtle. So consciously one might not know why they don’t feel an emotional connection and yet it’s just not there.
If someone is critical, judgemental or dismissive, it is unlikely that other people will want to open up to them. And when someone invalidates others or tells them what they should or should not be doing, is also going to lead to the same outcome.
So if one is wondering why they don’t open up to some people, then they might now realise why this is. And if one is wondering why other people don’t open up to them, they might also know why.
There is also the chance that one doesn’t trust people enough to open up, so it won’t matter if they are around people who can be trusted or not; as the outcome will always be the same.
It might be necessary for one to seek the assistance of a therapist, healer or a coach in order to move beyond these challenges, and/or to read up on relationships in order to increase their self awareness.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 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.