Today I will describe another analogy that I use from time to time during consultations with clients. The context is friendship and relationships.
The mind with its ideas is like an archive on the shelves of which ancient reference books and contracts are kept. In a reference book, for example, a relatively clear and nuanced definition of friendship can be given, and the contract regulates the rights and obligations of an abstract friend.
And if a person is credited as a friend for some particular reason, the mind begins to extrapolate – to draw far-reaching conclusions from these particular properties. First, he ascribes to a living person all the other imaginary qualities of a friend (from his reference book), and then imaginary duties (from a contract) that a real friend is “obliged” to fulfill. Otherwise, our inner “judge” fixes the violation and is indignant at such injustice, he wants to punish the violator and force him to fulfill the contract.
Not everyone realizes that such agreements are not true and universal, but in each individual mind they are subjective and unique – with their own set of rules. That is, when we take a person for a friend, then from the very beginning we blindly believe that a copy of our agreement is gathering dust in his mind, which he signed by default and pledged to observe.
Not everyone understands that everyone understands the very concept of friendship in their own way. If a person behaved friendly in a private situation, then enrolling him as a friend and expecting the fulfillment of the “friendship” (the same of the “agreement”) somewhere is equivalent to recognizing the platypus as a bird and expecting him to fly jointly just because there is a beak. Platypus – he is a platypus.
The person nearby may not even suspect that he has become someone else’s friend. In his mind, a friendship agreement may describe very different principles.
And in such a situation, when instead of the expected “friendship” they receive something unexpectedly unpleasant, so as not to be offended, it is useful to admit that the problem arose not at all because the person behaved incorrectly, but specifically because of his own unrealistic expectations – he divorced himself , he was fascinated – you yourself and disentangle. Such awareness is a pure manifestation of responsibility, leading out of the position of the victim. And the platypus simply cannot be a bird by its original nature.
In the archives of the mind of such contracts – an abundance, for all occasions. The rights and obligations of relatives, loved ones, friends, colleagues and even strangers are “spelled out” there. The mind contains a rich set of personal laws that life supposedly must comply with. As a result, it is not people who communicate, but mental templates – they figure out which of them is more important and real.
In a relationship
In love relationships, the topic of such formalities sounds even more poignant. The very fact of being in a relationship for most partners already implies submission to a whole set of obligations. Being in a relationship is one contract. Being in a serious relationship is different, more serious. Being loved is the third, most profitable one with a bunch of additional bonuses.
As soon as the partners hang some labels on what is happening between themselves and on each other, they immediately begin to clarify the “relationship”, attempts to determine which agreement they correspond to and where they are violated. As a result, the two are involved not so much in living, real relationships as in such proceedings and litigation.
The substance that is so often mistaken for a relationship is not at all the real thing that is already happening between two people, but only another set of rights and obligations – something artificial, implied and expected.
Therefore, so much importance is attached to signs of attention and declarations of love. They are perceived as a promise of happiness. It was as if a partner who confessed his feelings considered the possibility of a joint happy future and pledged to realize it. This naive delusion breaks off the hopes of all lovers.
Other people’s bright impulses and confessions are not some kind of symbol of an impending happy fairy tale, but just an expression of current fleeting emotions that can calmly disappear tomorrow. It is useful to be aware of this in order to avoid bitter disappointments, so that the fairy tale now and then does not turn into a burning drama.
Only what is already happening between people is their real relationship. As soon as they are driven into the formal order, all lightness leaves them, and compulsion gradually penetrates. The more solidified ideas about what a relationship should be, the more painful the grinding – breaking of one’s own beliefs. And the likelihood of finding agreement and peace with a partner is close to zero.
That lively and spontaneous that really unites people in itself can be something beautiful. But if you rush insensibly ahead of the locomotive with a blind conviction of how the relationship should develop, you can inadvertently trample this fragile substance.
Verification of reality
One more example. Imagine a situation where a wolf, wishing to hunt hares more effectively, decides to negotiate with an eagle so that he helps to track down the victim from a height. As payment for hired eagle labor, the wolf shares the prey. Eagle is happy with the deal, but sometimes he is offended by the formal callous attitude of the wolf. The eagle, cooperating with the wolf, takes him for a close
human friend, and expects some kind of reciprocal feelings. And the wolf does not need all this. He wants extremely effective hunting for hares, and meets the whims of the eagle with irritation.
It’s helpful to understand that an employer doesn’t have to love. He hires an assistant, not for companionship, but for dry mutual benefit. In the meantime, the pattern of what the boss should be – kind, polite, gifting – is maintained – constant dissatisfaction is ensured.
It is useless to expect the habits of a faithful pet dog from a wolf. And to be offended here, as a rule, is simply useless, and there is nothing – the wolf behaves like a wolf, not out of harm, but because such is its wolf nature.
Again. If someone behaved in an unacceptable way, attributing the reason for your own dissatisfaction with someone else’s behavior is throwing off responsibility. The real reason inside is the breaking of one’s own template, which has not passed the verification of reality.
Of course, there is no need to maintain uncomfortable connections. You can negotiate, say goodbye, seek compromises. But blindly believing in your righteousness and imposing it is a path to nowhere, the cause of scandals and the destruction of any relationship.
In a real-life relationship, there may not be the enchanting tale that expectations paint. And this fairy tale is sometimes, in general, unrealizable. But if you let go of the claims to the impossible, the idea of right and wrong relationships, it may turn out that the person next to him quite likes himself the way he is – imperfect, with his troubles, but still real.
I plan to continue the topic.
© Igor Satorin
Other articles on this topic:
- Alien games
- Right life
- Conscious communication in conflict situations
- Sense of justice