We live in relationship; relationship defines us, makes us, breaks us, modifies us and forms us.
We live in many various relationships. Every Relationship has three components – two participants and combination of both (A, B, AB). We are satisfied when relationship has a capacity to hold nurture and make us grow. We are unsatisfied when relationship limits, minimizes and pressures us.
Our friendship relationships, our work relationships, our marital and parental relationships are contexts for formation of our identity- personal and professional identities.
Relationship is a place that individuals give and take each others’ courage. Relationship is a place that individuals boost and destroy each others’ personal agency. Relationship is a place that provides conditions for re-construction or deconstruction of self.
When we experience suffering, suffocation and constraints in relationship, we may need to listen to what we experience and act upon it. Participants of any relationship are not ‘passive recipients’. We contribute and have an impact on each other.
We may ignore, dismiss and silence voices of dissatisfaction. We may drown ourselves into work-holism and addiction. We may try to silence our voices and close our eyes; however, we can not stay and not have any ‘act of resistance’ in relationship. We do intentionally or unintentionally take stances in relation to what happens in our relationships.
Individuals respond; individuals make a balance between what is given and what is received in relationship. Nothing is lost in relationship. We have an impact on each other. The impact could stagnate or generate new possibilities. The impact has to be monitored and evaluated more often because it has power to define, make, or break us in a long run.
If you are in relationship that makes you put aside your core values and preferences in life, you need to start having conversations with other participants of this relationship.
Conversation is the response to undesirable relational impact; the conversation that steers the direction of relationship back to its preferred direction!
Tahereh Barati, M.A, RMFT