Sunday, January 9, 2011

On Treating Personal Relationships

All of us always try to explain to ourselves how we deal with personal relationships, which is largely based on human characteristics.  My personal in-depth feelings and beliefs on this is rather simple and even shallow as I’m not a psychologist.  Like most, I look at my personal relationships at a very personal level (that’s why they’re personal relationships), which I neither can explain according to standards that might be acceptable to others, nor need to explain at all. But this is how I deal with my relationships.  You probably deal with yours differently.   And, essentially, that’s none of my business.

However, the moment you begin to consider me in a relationship, personal or otherwise, then I expect to be treated according to how I’m being viewed.  Let me give an example.  Your relationship with a “very good friend” as in “barkada,” while being very personal is not the same as your relationship with another “best friend.”   Those relationships are different, like it or not.  Such relationships differ according to your level of physical and emotional involvement, i.e., intimate such as going steady and going out on dates, very intensely intimate such as perhaps necking, or even going to bed.  Something beyond that could be extremely intimate such as settling down and deciding to live together, married or not.

In all these levels of relationships, I believe that we have our own personal coping mechanisms very unique to the kind of relationship that we have.  How we treat this coping mechanism is ours alone, much like a fingerprint which is only one of its kind.  To me, there’s no such thing as treating friends the same way.  That’s a cop out.

What complicates matters is when we’re used to treat our relationships based on generalized characteristics of individuals.  This is not wrong, per se, but I consider this so sensitive that each individual relationship of mine I treat differently and individually.  The level of that personal relationship spells out how much deeper we need to look at it, according to our own indescribable micro-levels of behavioral and emotional treatments.  I know this is as complicated as how our brain works.

What am I saying?  Well, let’s try to treat our relationships differently.  For some relationships, it would probably be enough to treat them according to the stereotypical classification of people, based perhaps on certain established psychological rules and frameworks.  This kind of personal treatment of friends, for example, would seem to look well and acceptable to most on the surface, which is what might be important if you’re trying to maintain good relations.  However, if you’re dealing with your life partner, for example, your life partner definitely deserves a deeper, much more serious consideration.  That’s being “special” by definition.   That is to say, on top of all the treatments you do for your very good friends, perhaps you need a much deeper understanding of your life partner.  You owe her/him that much more.  She is entitled to a much more complicated understanding than you have given your other friends.  Otherwise, why should she/he be a life partner in the first place if she/he is just “one of the guys?”  Fair is fair, my friend.  If you can’t give this to your life partner, then perhaps you must rethink the relationship.  If you continue with such unfair treatment of each other, then trouble is always around the nearest corner.
Like I said, I’m just thinking aloud as an inexperienced pseudo-psychologist, trying to explain my own feelings about relationships.  If you gain something out of the points raised, thanks.  If not, well, no harm done, but don’t blame me.  I was really trying to clarify certain points to myself.

Until next time.


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