Shallow is not just one end of a swimming pool!
When someone opens up to you, do you get awkward and uncomfortable?
Do you welcome their vulnerability with open arms or do you somehow ruin it so that they never open up to you again? ( You know when it feels icky to feel all these feelings and you just want to run!) … Are your relationships shallow? Are your relationships superficial?
What is it about relationships that really bug you?
You are after all one half of it. Let’s pause here for a minute and think about it.
Does it feel like a burden to be ‘responsible’ for other peoples feelings? Does opening up your heart inevitably mean that you will get hurt? Is it a waste of time because people are always leaving so why waste time when it won’t mean a thing anyway?
What about your own life? Do you take the time to ‘take stock’ of where you are, how you feel and what you want? After all, if you are not present in your own life it’s very hard to be present in someone else’s.
Been listening to John Eldredge’s podcasts and he and Craig have been discussing the quality of your relationships.
How do you relate with people, and why do you do it the way you do?Are you the sort of person that engages fully into the conversation?Is it a 50:50 sort of situation where you equally give and receive?
How are you relating and why?
I noticed a while back that I did not like to talk about myself, but was really good at talking about whoever I was having a conversation with. Part of it was the ‘coach’ part of me that loves to ask questions to find out what is happening with someone, but a big part of it was shame. I did not want them ‘digging’ into my life and exposing those things that I wished to keep hidden. This resulted in shallow relationships because people didn’t know the real me, the relationships were grossly imbalanced.
What about the other end of the spectrum?
“How are you doing? What’s going on with you?”
When some people are asked this question they run with it they talk and talk and talk… why do they do this? It could be several reasons –
- they are lonely and have nobody that really listens to them
- they like to make everything about them
- they are simply not a good listener and do not know that that is an important part of the communication process
- they are stopping themselves from feeling what they are feeling but JUST TALKING!
Do you meet for an hour, 59 minutes are spent on you,30 seconds to ask how they are and thirty seconds to pay for the coffee? (John Eldredge’s joke, not mine!)
It’s a good time to ask: Are my relationships shallow?
I mean relationships with friends and family, your relationships at work, of course, are a different topic.It would be good to examine if we are relating to each other in a good and honest way. Admit it if you have not been available to yourself, and to people around you.
How can we love to love each other better?
We all want to be asked how we are doing, what our dreams are. We can adopt a 50:50 approach to a conversation ( if the other person allows!) When you are asked how you are, speak your mind and open up, but remember the other person is waiting to be asked and heard as well.
Remember that people can tell by your responses whether you care or not. It’ll take you getting better at ‘reading ‘ the person to tailor your response. Does this person just need to talk, or do they need advice? ( Sometimes we jump straight to advice and that is not helpful either.)
Asking questions that help the conversation go deeper is helpful. Questions like
-‘How are you dealing with that?’
-‘How has it made you feel?’
Maybe your response it to crack a joke about EVERYTHING! ( avoidance) … Do you find yourself only discussing THINGS and not FEELINGS?
Are your relationships shallow? Are your relationships superficial?
Maybe its time to learn you you can be the real you this time around. Play the ‘Tea time with Twaambo’ episode below to find out how!