Fine Tuning Your Relationships
You in the minds of others are not the real you but a perception. The difference
between the reality and perception can be vastly different. It depends upon what
you project and what they interpret. It also depends upon their beliefs, preferences,
mental filters, desires and expectations.
In other words, you do not have to be excessively concerned about what others may
think about you or conclude. However, in real life it is not what happens. People
are so conditioned to seek others' approval that they depend upon the judgment of
others rather than their own, which leads to very unhappy consequences.
Some people are chronically depressed because they believe that they are disliked
by others or judged negatively. In evaluating ourselves we are not taught to depend
upon our own judgment and analysis but follow the standards approved and upheld
There are mainly four aspects of your self-image. What you know, what you do not
know, what others may know and what others do not. They can overlap. Thus, you have
aspects that you may know and others may know, aspects that you only know but others
do not know, aspects that others know but you do not know and finally aspects that
neither you nor others know.
Your relationships and the happiness you derive from them largely depend upon how
far others know about you and how much you know about them. If a relationship is
based on false perceptions and faulty notions, most likely it leads to conflicts
and breakdown of the relationship. If both sides indulge in hiding and deception,
the relationship will collapse even faster.
From the above, following conclusions arise.
1. In judging yourself you should rely more upon your own judgment rather than others.
2. If you want to know how others are perceiving you, look for the common feature
in all relationships. For example if you have a positive relationship with most
people you know, and you see that they are happy or comfortable in your presence,
you may conclude that you are perceived by them as a likable and trustworthy person.
3. In relationships it is always good to keep space. From experience you have to
learn the distance and the extent of your involvement with the person or the relationship.
4. Do not look for ideal relationships. They do not exist.
5. Expect people to be imperfect, inconsistent, somewhat less transparent, and unpredictable,
and cultivate the patience and maturity to bear with them. Tolerate people but protect
yourself from their imperfections.
6. Avoid hurting others and indulge in blame game. If a relationship is not working,
minimize the interaction, increase the distance, avoid being close, and downgrade
it to a casual and perfunctory relationship.
7. Avoid people who are habitually negative, opinionated, critical, or dishonest.
Hope this information will help you to review the status of your current relationships
and use the knowledge to identify areas of improvement, build quality relationships
and discard the dysfunctional ones.
For Further Reading