Three Things To Consider in Reorganizing Relationships
Relationships are in constant navigation. As our selves and environments change, we are always reorganizing what that means for our shared experiences. We share experiences not just with people, but with ideas and society. Increasing our aptitude for shared experiences helps us to make decisions, understand ourselves and add meaning to our lives.
However, sharing experience is a learned skill. It requires us to be connected to our own experience and our environment simultaneously, when we typically tend to lean one way or the other, or to be entirely disconnected. Do you tend to be more largely consumed with your own experience or the experience of others?
Here are three things to consider as you reorganize the relationships in your life:
Expand your capacity for giving and receiving information.
Healthy relationships have a symbiotic flow of information. If you notice you are someone who tends to outwardly express as a default, notice what it is like to receive information. Similarly, if you feel most comfortable taking in what you notice, see what it is like to increase your output.
An imbalance of giving may take the form of inflexibility in our stance, passivity, or martyrdom; and an imbalance of receiving may include manipulation or entitlement.
These imbalances happen for a good reason. Our intelligent system monitors the flow of information as a way to keep us safe, but it is often outdated. Even when the information is safe, we can have automatic threat responses to both giving and receiving information. Practice noticing where you land on the spectrum and see where you can add balance to your relationships.
Notice how your body’s sensations are affected by various settings and people.
Speaking of our intelligent system, our nervous system responds to our environment based on past experiences with similar environments. Some of the easiest areas to notice are the throat, shoulders, heart and belly. Do they feel more expansive or contracted as you transition between relationships?
If you stay with those sensations, what emotions and thoughts arise? Gaining clarity on what we are bringing to a relationship helps us understand how we may be contributing to the shared experience.
Notice when and how you disconnect and what new connections might be forming.
As we change, we will notice that we feel disconnected from certain aspects of relationship and curious about new connections. Old ideas pass away and new ones come in their place.
Disconnections and connections can be healthy and timely as well as harmfully defensive. Noticing which relationships have changed shape and maintaining curiosity about when and why that has happened increases our integrity and capacity to grow in shared experiences.