Yes, you can ask me the same question and I won’t feel offended. It takes two to tango, as they say. Here is a thought provoking question: If you were to choose from all of your friends – Facebook now offers us the chance to have hundreds of them, but are they real? – the ones you felt a real connection with, how many of your existing friends would you choose? If you answer "all of them", consider yourself lucky and perhaps you don’t need to read the rest of this.
Most of us have asked our kids since they were little to be nice and play with everybody whether they feel like it or not. Because that’s what being nice means, and because we want them to give everyone a fair treatment. Fair? hardly. When they are little we set up playdates for them and sometimes the playdate is not a good one. The kids fight and “act up”, almost asking to be taken home just to end the ordeal. And then it repeats. Usually with the same child. Nothing wrong with any of them, just not connecting properly. And there is nothing wrong with not connecting the same with all people. It’s a fact of life. No chemistry, as they say.
By the time we become adults, many of us might not know how to trust that gut feeling when it comes to relationships. Whether you call it intuition about a person, or the first impression, or that “chemistry” everybody is talking about, it’s all the same. The buzz. You either feel it or you don’t. if you don’t and keep going, then you’re lying to yourself and others. There is no way I am the only one who felt “I shouldn’t” or “I don’t have much to talk about” when meeting someone I feel no connection with, no buzz. And every time I felt that, ignored it and went ahead with the relationship, I ended up disappointed, drained and far from that good feeling that follows a healthy energy exchange that happens when I have a real connection with a person. So what to do? Life is too short and it’s a shame to spend precious time on meaningless conversations or relationships that don’t mean much to us or the other people involved in it and are kept alive just because. Of course we cannot handpick all people we will form relationships with. Jobs and marriages will bring along people we have to learn to get along with, whether we feel like it or not. Those will help us build get-along skills, and that’s fine, we need to know how to do that too. But aside from those, wouldn’t it be fair to us and others too, to be real, true to our feelings, and form friendships only when we feel there is a real connection?
Will our children have a better chance to form meaningful relationships if we let them trust that intuition since they are young, that gut feeling about people? I’d say yes. When we allow them to speak their mind and express their feelings about people, old and young, we help them accept and honour those gut feelings. And by doing that, honour themselves and others. I am tempted to say that if we let our children grow comfortable with their intuitive feelings about people they will maybe have a better chance to choose the right people, friends and a life partner too.
Meaningful relationships are few and far between. We have to respect their nature. For those of us who are parents, I believe we have the responsibility to encourage our children to trust their feelings. And yes, mistakes will be made, wrong relationships will be formed and disolved, and through all of that learning will happen. But, rightheouness aside, it is plain sad to watch grown people go through the pain of knowing they made the wrong relationship choice because they did not have the courage to listen to that inside voice that whispered the truth.
What do you think?