Playing together

In this era of technology, we are learning to navigate interpersonal relationships and how compromise is both necessary and beneficial. We cannot decide on a way to “play together” because each of us want our own way.

Are we intolerant of people who are unable or unwilling to seek compromise with the other side or between couples? If yes, I feel this reaction is the result of the inability to feel compassion and empathy for others. It takes a lot of strength to compromise, especially when you are up against harshness, cruelty, anger and fear. Some mistake the act of compromise as a sign of weakness. Others may feel that compromise means giving up everything for someone else, or simply helping people out in times of need. However, giving to others and extending a helping hand in dire situations are indeed examples of being compassionate.

Acting with compassion can also mean being patient and responding in a non-aggressive way, even when you are being provoked. For example, if someone ever struck out at you for no apparent reason, leaving you hurt, angry and confused by such behavior, most likely, our initial reaction is to strike back (and we do unless one is spiritually inclined). Or should we try to distance ourself from the experience and not take it personally? Will it have a different reaction? My uncle says being in 21st century, we should strike back or atleast shove. I agree!!

On second thoughts, what if the difficult behavior one experiences actually has nothing to do with us? You may just have happened to cross paths with someone who was in a bad mood for reasons unknown to you. Taking such mitigating factors into consideration can make all the difference in the quality of communication and relationship management however a relationship is a two-way street.

It’s about emphasizing compassion rather than negative feelings such as fear, guilt, shame, blame, coercion, threat, or justification for punishment. When we focus on clarifying what we observe, feel, need, and want, rather than on diagnosing and judging, we can discover our own compassion. We end up practicing a kind of deep listening to ourselves as well as others.  If we are able to look at other people and ourselves with this wider heart, will it affect others as well as ourselves in a positive way?

It is no easy task, but perhaps some perspective and hope for dealing with the anger and aggression in a world that feels out of control.

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Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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