We can hear in many stories or the movies ‘then they lived happily ever after’ but we do not know if they actually lived happily ever after and if they did, how they lived? That can be the question in many of our minds. According to Merriam Dictionary, we can define relationship simply as the way in which two things or beings are related or inter related. We can see the relationships taking a break, and sometimes broken forever. Why all these things happen and what can be done to reduce all these misunderstandings have always been the part of inquisitiveness and most of the people are battling with the relationships too. The relationship that was successful for last 10 years can take it’s end today and the relationship started just today can last forever. Is it just because of the single person or is it due to communication gap between both?
Well, there are certain things that might be leading the relationship to its difficult days. We might not have been keeping our eye on the things of life that we have to. Any relationship looks miraculous in the beginning and why it is more likely to be terrible in the middle or last in some cases? It may be because we missed out few things that should have been kept throughout of relationship. Let’s have a look to few of them:
Trust is fragile by it’s name. It is said- Trust is harder to gain however effortless to loose. No relationship can last without trust. It can also be called the mainstay of the relationship. If we are uncommonly having trust issues in our relationship then the stability in the relationship is very low. Trust brings the sense of predictability and security between each other. Also, if we don’t trust someone, we are more likely to deduct the positive behavior and get more focused on their negative behavior as human mind always gives more weight to the negative things than the positive ones. Every situation will be interpreted skeptically. It is also said that the person who has trust issues are self-engaged in some form of lies and cheats.
People often listen to respond than to understand. This is the significant part in any relationship. It is found that the weakest part in the communication is listening. According to Edgar Dale, people remember only 25-50% of what is heard. However, sometimes we divide our attention and fail to remember anything that somebody shared us just a day ago. This may cease the communication in the relationship. Then there arises the communication gap which brings the consequences in the future developing serious trust issue. Hence, before having communication, it is better to ask the next person if it is the right time to talk so that the next person does not divide his/her attention. Communication can be more helpful even in the trust issues where one can share their conflicting thoughts sincerely with the person they have to resolve their confusion. There must be mutual understanding in the communication where one must never use the statements that keeps blame on other. It is always better to use I-statements during communication such as I feel, I think and so on. And we must make sure that we are actively responding to the person who is speaking which can include nodding the our head, facial expression and face-to-face communication ensuring that they are being heard properly.
Respect always does not mean being more honored towards someone every hour. Instead, it is the way where we can validate their points and thoughts. Most of the relationships fail as they go wrong in accepting the other person’s feelings. Also, the freedom and space of the next person are regarded as less. In an argument, if a single person has to win every time, then it is ungracious. Each person must respect the opinion, beliefs, and feelings of the person they are dealing with. Not a single person is always right. So, it is always necessary to admire each other’s opinions even in the arguments. This shows respect in the relationship.
Fundamental Attribution Error
It is the human nature to attribute other’s behavior through dispositional factors. We are very fast in blaming others. We never see what situation or time he/she is going through. We simply attribute them with their inner weaknesses however we never stand in their shoe to understand their situation. In our fault, we blame the situation however in other’s fault, we never double check for their hard situation. This kind of error creates more difficulty to move further in the relationship. Learning to stand on other’s shoe and having a deep empathy is always the fragrance to any relationship.
Complaining and Comparing
Random kind of kindness and learning to compliment in the relationship always wins over complains and the compares. Comparing with other’s effort and keeping blame in our relationship can be the way we are creating distance in our relationship. Complaining on every little thing and comparing with others will eventually be substandard. Taking responsibility of our mistakes and not to inculpate is always wiser in keeping the relationship safer and stronger. Apology and begging pardon in our mistakes can aid the relationship to tie the knot well rather than complaining for any hard situations.
One Side Effort
We often hear, nothing can be oriented well if it is one sided, so is relationship. One-sided relationship may involve the one side investment of energy, time, commitment and finance (Kelly, 2020). If the relation is one-sided, the relationship can never go healthy. Making an excuse by a single person every time, being controlled by the partner and putting the energy and effort from single side can be unhealthy symptoms for any relationship. The relationship runs between the under-benefitted and the over-benefitted which can be difficult in the future days to move together.
By nature and also nurture, males and females do not have similar instincts. The way of responding to stress is not similar between males and females due to chemical and hormonal differences. Females are comparatively less aggressive than males. Females are more likely to be nurturing and protective during stress however males reach the ‘fight or flight’ situation. If these differences are understood in the relationship, many conflicts can be avoided. Also, during communication, females emphasize the details and they are discuss oriented whereas males emphasize main points and solutions. Females are comparatively more empathetic than males (Klein & Hodges, 2001). Recognizing all these gender differences, we can minimize our misunderstandings in future days. So, asking the problems to one another and working together on each other’s goals can reduce the difficult situations in any relationship.
Thus, in the upcoming days, let’s remember these things before over generalizing the situation. It is always righteous to understand each other and have proper communication than to have monologue and create the hard situation inside the mind. It is not just unhealthy for the relationship, however more harmful for personal mental health too. It is never wrong to communicate on the things that is becoming an issue in the relationship and fixing the argument together. Forgiveness and proper apology is always necessary than complains. Having empathy and understanding the reason of each other’s anger can make the bond stronger than attributing other’s behavior with the internal factors. In any argument, it is imperative to respect each other’s opinion afore reacting negatively. The room must always be maintained in the relationship to clear out the opinion and one should always be the good listener when another is speaking. This can certainly minimize the conflict situation in the relationship.
“Let’s try to understand before being understood !”
(The writer is a student of Psychology, Masters Program at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu )