Here are my photos taken from the trip to Tenerife 2017! Enjoy…
Here are my photos taken from the trip to Tenerife 2017! Enjoy…
criticism, culture, Desire, Feedback, Identity, intimate relationships, Judgment, listening, openness, Otherness, people, personal ethics, reflection, relational responsibilities, relationships, self awareness, social discourse, talking
I came to a realization that Relating to one another is an art. I have learned that many of us have difficulty in Relating to others. This difficulty includes listening to others’ ideas and beliefs, responding preferably to others, accepting differences between ourselves and others and finally learning about the notion of ‘otherness’.
It seems that Relating is possible when we intentionally select and practice a few principles when interacting with one another. To me, Relating is a mutual process. Relating is not felt in vacuum; it is experienced when two persons allow themselves to be open to and influenced by one another. The important principles that support the formation of experience of Relating to one another are ‘prohibition of judgment/ criticism in relationships and self/other awareness’.
When we enter into a relationship, our conversations are the points of entry to receiving or giving reflections to one another. This process of exchanging ideas lead to self-awareness and eventually to otherness. Without relationships and conversations, Relating to one another is not experienced. We are products of our relationships and our identities are formed in relationships. Thus, principles are not constructed in relationships automatically or by accident; they are constructed by mutual attention, intentionality and commitment of both parties in relationships. Relating to one another is possible when we creatively tune into each other and we deliberately pay attention to practicing relational principles in relationships!
Relating to each other is an intentional act. The experience of Relating is not possible when the relational principles are neglected or impoverished in relationships. People experience emotional safety when both parties decide to exclude or put limits on the presence of judgment/ criticism. When judgment/criticism is not practiced, people feel more comfortable to relate to each other and experience safety in relationship. Experiencing emotional safety in relationship, therefore, invite understanding and further connections among people.
Relating is not possible without act of listening. Listening makes people attune to ‘what and how’ things are exchanged in relationships. It increases people’s ability to change or modify the direction of conversations. Listening is overly talked about in relationship building books but it is underused in our daily conversations. What might possibly contribute to its difficulty to be practiced is some think listening means minimization and invalidation of their ideas. This way of thinking, which promoted in our cultural and social discourses, reinforces and invites judgment/criticism’ to our internal dialogues and consequently to our way of positioning ourselves to each other.
Listening, to me, is a practice of holding onto our own ideas loosely as we actively pay attention to what a person says. As actively listening, we may notice some differences/ similarities between our ideas and others’ and we may find out some gaps in our own thinking or others’. In this process of identification, it is important not to feel threatened by differences but remain open to examine and re-view our own ideas.
Being OK with differences is resulted from a habit of ongoing reflection and willingness to re-view our own ideas and beliefs; it is an expression of viewing other ideas as valid, real and possible. Accepting differences is linked to the idea of multiplicity and multiple realities which is contrary to the dominant idea of searching for Truth. Truth seeking practice leads to elimination of other realities; it prevents people from Relating to one another; it encourages people to hold strong positions against others. Truth seeking practice limits the possibility of talking, exchanging ideas and understanding different point of views; it brings judgment and criticism to our lives and create divisions among us.
I wonder how often we find ourselves to re-view our own ideas and how often we tend to question the dominant ideas such this one. Would you view your ideas as one idea among many or do you view them as the only truth? How do you think this way of thinking affect your relationships with others?
I found questions that deconstruct and shed light on the history of our ideas/ beliefs be useful to consider; for instance, questions such as: where my ideas/beliefs come from, why I chose this particular set of beliefs about others and so forth. Reflecting and questioning our views might open up space for new possibilities in our thinking and might lead to further self/ other awareness.
Self- awareness requires openness, practice of listening and understanding other’s point of views. We are not able to learn about our belief system without allowing others to shed light and reflect on various aspects of our ways of living/ our ways of responding to matters. Self- awareness is somehow formed by our ability to listen to other views on us and by our willingness to reflect on our own ideas/beliefs.
What is important to keep in mind is ‘how’ we talk to each other. Do we deliberately pay attention to the importance of emotional safety of the other party when talking to a person? Do we make any effort to increase our awareness when interacting with others? Do we prohibit presence of any sign of judgment/criticism in our thinking when conversing with others?
It is also crucial to reflect on ‘how’ our talk makes a difference. Does our talk encourage us to re-think, re-view and have clarity on various matters or does it make us distance ourselves from each other?
With listening, sharing ideas and accepting differences, we may become further emotionally available to others and experience the joy of Relating to one another.
Tahereh Barati, M.A, RMFT
Life consists of familiar and unfamiliar stuff with some similarities and differences. Life is an unknown territory. Everyday life makes us face an unknown situation/person. Have you ever stopped and asked yourself questions like these:
These are the questions resurfaced in my consciousness after seeing this amazing animation video.
I would like to invite you to watch this video and give some thoughts to how you interact with differences when you are in your relationships with others. Please feel free to share your thoughts.
What usually couples, consulting with me, share in therapy sessions is about their concerns for their partners and/or themselves in intimate relationships; for instance, one party sees a drastic change in another party; or one party sees disconnection and lack of participation of one party in relationship; or one party realizes their relationship has gone off- track and etc.
What causes couples to experience ‘disconnection’ in their intimate relationships varies and depends on their understanding and agreement on relational principles; the principles that made them connected and related to each other once.
A couple relationship is a relationship between two persons who agree on certain principles, usually based on relational values/ethics, to stay and possibly live together to form a family. This is a mutual contract and is valid as long as two parties are committed to supporting and maintaining their agreement.
Couples, who plan to live together or have lived together for a long period of time, sometimes face difficulties in sticking to their relational principles for many various reasons. Difficulty in internalizing relational principles goes back to what parents, educators and society as a whole has taught both parties when they are very young.
The relational principles may vary from one relationship to another and they may be introduced to every relationship differently. However, the core principles seem to be the same in every relationship; everyone wants to be treated fairly and respectfully; and everyone wants for his/her relational life what brings comfort, joy, connection and closeness to intimate relationships.
Every person walks into an intimate relationship with her/his own life experiences. No one requires having any particular education or a degree before entering into intimate relationships. We learn and understand more about our own personal ethics and our relational principles as we experience relationships/ life. It seems that the richness of life depends on the quality of relationships we are in. Relationships have significant impact on our identities.
Couples are, sometimes, caught into the pattern of “I–It” (Martin Buber, 1979) relationship and connect with one another as objects. Couples may be convinced through external forces to shape their intimate relationships based on viewing each other as ‘It’ and relating to each other as a means to their own personal ends. When individuals are objectified in intimate relationships, the quality of relationship is reduced due to the objectification of persons. The major problem with this pattern of connection is the absence of “You”; the absence of the other party as a person, as a being.
At a different state, couples realize that their relationship is not fulfilling; they are not seen as valued beings; they feel loss even though they are, physically, present in relationships; they become insensitive and indifferent to each other’s presence; and their worlds become apart and disconnected. When one is not cared or loved for who he/she is but for means that brings to relationship, when his/her beings is not valued as a person but for means that provides in relationship, an intimate relationship is about to go sour and collapse.
Relationships collapse when couples are trapped into the pattern of “I-It”. “I- It” based relationships don’t have a capacity to last and fulfill relational needs of parties; it serves couples temporarily. When couples are not satisfied, they tend to search for another It. Affair, abuse, addictions, etc are signs of disconnection from one’s own values/principles.
The pattern of “I-It” perpetuates and maintains itself in people’s life by convincing couples to replace one “It” with another one; it prevents couples from taking initiatives to dismantle the pattern of “I- It”. Becoming free from the pattern of “I-It” is not easy due to its history in one’s life; it requires reconnecting to one’s ethics, revising relational ethics and adapting a broader perspective that includes ‘the other’ as a being in one’s life.
In my sessions with couples, I engage couples to think and talk about their relational principles and support them to form patterns of “I-You” in intimate relationships. We explore what constitutes and supports the pattern of “I-It” in their lives and discover ways of reconnecting with personal ethics to build a foundation for relational principles in intimate relationships.
If you know couples who want to unwrap themselves from the pattern of “I-It”, please feel free to pass them on my information. For further information visit my website: http://www.taherehbarati.com
What do you think motivates people to do their tasks?
Do you think ‘Reward and Punishment’ approach works? Do you think people with higher rewards are more motivated to do their job?
What about the role of ‘purpose and autonomy’ in human motivation? Do you think people with ‘purpose and autonomy’ are more motivated?
Here is Don Pink talking about the Surprising Science of Human Motivation: