When it comes to feeling connected to other people and having a sense of being understood, it is vital that one is not only honest with themselves about what they are going through, but that they are honest with others to.
Now, this is going to be more relevant with the people that one is closest too, such as: friends, family, colleagues and their partner. One is not going to be able to experience this level of openness with everyone that they come across in life.
So this is likely to be limited to a select group of people. But this is not necessarily going to be a bad thing, as the type of connections that one can have through being this way, are going to be ones that are fulfilling and life enhancing.
Here, one is going to feel comfortable and safe to be themselves and to show who they truly are. There won’t be any masks worn or illusions created, what there will be is one expressing their true selves.
The other person will follow suit and also feel safe enough to express their true self. And relationships like these often take time to develop and rarely happen overnight. In some instances, one might meet another person and feel an instant connection
Even though they have only just met them, they feel that they can be who they are and do not feel the need to put on an act or pretend that they are someone else. When this takes place it is understandably a breath of fresh air and can make one realise that life can flow and doesn’t always have to be a challenge.
This will be a relationships one when shares who they are and doesn’t cut our or edit certain parts in order to be accepted. Acceptance is generally there no matter what one has to say. By having this level of openness, one is able to feel a connection that is deep and meaningful.
What one thinks, how they feel about something and their views about life will be heard, even if they are not always agreed with. One is given the respect and the attention to share each of these aspects and not made to feel that they can only reveal certain things or that some parts of them are not acceptable.
A Whole Relationship
So here, one will feel that they are relating to the other person as a whole human being and not as a fractured one. This is in and of itself, will lead to an inner wellbeing and to a sense of freedom. Ones feelings, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’, will be accepted and embraced.
As will their thoughts and opinions about minor things in their life, to things that are more substantial and impactful. To expect this from everyone would be to delude oneself and would only create frustration and endless experiences of being let down.
But, this doesn’t mean that one can’t have this kind of connection with a number of people in their, if they haven’t already. Perhaps the primary person that one would expect this from is their partner, if they have one. And then this would filter out to friends; while family often have to accepted for who they are, regardless to whether they match up to one’s ideals.
For some people, being in relationships with others who stop them from being who they really are will be a way of life. It could be something that seems normal and how life is. And the fact there is another way of relating might not even be known.
So here, one could be in relationship with someone and feel pressured to deny certain parts of themselves. Some parts of them are then accepted and others parts end up being rejected.
This is going to make one feel that who they are is not acceptable and that they can only be accepted by putting on an act. The strength and wellbeing that comes with being a whole human being will not be realised under these circumstances.
The Rejected Parts
One might not know that parts of their nature are being denied or as a result of this going on for so long, may have forgotten that it wasn’t always like this. So if they were to realise what is taking place, it might be for the first time in their life.
And although these parts are going to be different for everyone, they are going to relate to certain areas. One might find that their thoughts, ideas and views are often dismissed or that their feelings and emotions are rejected by someone.
These are vital for having a real relationship and without them; one is going to feel that something is missing. Here one could be told that what they think of believe doesn’t matter or perhaps it is ‘silly’.
This is an important area, firstly because we are emotional beings and secondly, because to deny how we feel is not healthy or functional. However, there will be times when one has to keep their feelings to themselves and more so then they are around people they are not too close to.
But when it comes to ones primary relationships, they will want to be able to be emotionally honest. And this can be about a minor emotional experience or something that has had a massive affect on one’s life. When there is resistance from another, it could relate to how the other person is in general and it can also be due to a current challenge in their life.
Holding The Space
And during this time, one may simply want another to listen and be there for them. This is often described as a more feminine approach and relates to just being. What they are rarely looking for is for another to tell them how they should feel or that they should get over it or just let go.
To do this would be a more masculine approach and relates more to doing something. When this happens and one is not heard, it can be incredibly frustrating and cause one to feel invalidated.
One of the most common reasons for this is because the other person doesn’t feel comfortable with their own emotions. So if one was go there and be open about their own feelings, it might remind the other person of their own.
They could have years of repression and even deny what their true feelings are in most cases. When one is comfortable with their own emotions, it is a lot easier to feel comfortable with another person’s emotions.
So when one feels that they are not being heard and even feels ashamed for having emotions, there are two things at work here. One is that the person is likely to have their own emotional challenges. And the other is that this may reflect back one’s emotional unease.
As one starts to feel more comfortable with their emotions, they may find that the people they spend their time with adapt to this and become more open themselves. Or one might create new relationships and let go off others.
Assistance may also be required if one doesn’t feel comfortable with their emotions and feels overwhelmed or controlled by them whenever they face them. This could be through a therapist or a healer.
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.