Thinking about Relationships
When we allow ourselves to be close to another, we let them into our lives. The closer we are to them, the more we let them in. And when we really let people into our lives, we become vulnerable – our beliefs, thoughts and feelings are exposed – and it is easy to feel unsettled. It only takes a moment of doubt and we can quickly become rattled. It is possible to avoid some of the circumstances that result in our feelings of vulnerability by “keeping our distance” from others. But it is at the risk of feeling isolated, disconnected and lonely.
As many have remarked, you don’t choose your family. We are implanted in our mother by our father and, if we are lucky, we get to know and love both of them and feel known and loved by them. If we are luckier still, we will grow up with siblings who are attentive and loving towards us. If we are fortunate to experience a childhood in which our parents are attentive and loving towards each other and towards us, it is likely that we will feel good about ourselves and our relationship with our parents. The better our relationship with our parents and the better we feel about ourselves, the better the chances that we will relate easily to others, and the more likely we are to trust others who return our trust. From these sort of beginnings, we have the best chances to develop close friends and intimate relationships.
What if we’re not so lucky? If you are interested, you might like to read “Getting Past the Past.”