MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “human relationships”

Your most important ally

Why do we act like we do? It is a question that has troubled people throughout the ages – from philosophers, writers, sociologists, and psychologists, to modern therapists of all sorts. Why do we behave in certain ways? What triggers us to give resonance to certain thoughts and thinking motives over others? Why do we allow our minds to take so much control of our emotional reactions? What leaves us powerless before our own selves?

Taking charge of oneself is not an easy task. It requires you to understand yourself first. To come to terms with who you are, what affects you and why, and what you can do about it. It necessitates a process of observation above all. To realise first what is happening, to then accept it, and to often forgive yourself for it. We need to be kinder to ourselves, to talk ourselves up instead of down, to treat ourselves like the royalty that we are and to lift ourselves higher than we very often do.

Once we offer ourselves the value we deserve, and acknowledge it too, everything will change – both inside and outside. Because once you can deal with your internal turbulence, the exterior circumstances will seem a breeze. Things will affect you less and certainly not with the same force or attracting the same demeanour on your part. You will be able to allow things to slide and just accept that some things just are as such and there is not much you can do to control them. But even that is OK.

It’s all good if you first and foremost feel good inside.

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It’s all in the eyes

When someone is passionate about what they are talking about, when they really feel it to their bones and you can sense that enthusiasm oozing out of their every being, you can also see it in their eyes.

Notice it next time someone is telling you about something that incites them.

If they truly embrace what they’re talking about, their eyes will glimmer. You will witness their body movements alter as if to transmit to you that excitement they’re feeling.

You can tell a lot by looking into someone’s eyes.

It’s not just the profoundness of their soul that is depicted there; it’s also the sensitivity of their character.

People’s eyes well up when they’re discussing something sensitive or moving, something deeply personal that reaches in and touches every intimate chord.

The eyes get bigger and flare up when you’re angry and irritated about something and tempers rise.

But they also soften and can emit compassion when you’re listening with empathy to a person you love.

Try it. Just sit and watch people as they behave in their day-to-day lives. Shyness is indicated by the tendency to avoid eye contact. Anxiety by the opposite – rapid eye movements all over the place. Sadness by the fact that the gaze is constantly downwards. Hope by the wandering of the sight beyond what is visible. And admiration by the way the eyes light up when faced with a loved one.

At speeches of inspiring people, look around for a while. Observe how people listen. How they hang onto each word. Or how they boringly stare at their phones instead.

At weddings, witness the love that is radiated from the smiling eyes of the groom as the bride walks up to the altar, and in the emotional sight of the bride as she caresses her new husband.

Love comes in so many forms, but its purest is in what the eyes betray.

It’s all in the eyes. They never lie.

The peak of the mountain

Pete was a person of many talents. He wanted to accomplish a lot in his life but was constantly held back by his need for all his conditions to be met before moving ahead.

Sandrine was a person of many dreams, which she set into goals and worked hard to achieve them. She loved what she did and put passion into whatever she took hold of.

When they met each other they instantly clicked. It felt as if they knew each other since forever, and for some reason fate led them into each other’s path. Nothing happens by accident.

It all moved fast from there. It was natural. Seamless. With disagreements and rifts at times, but that was sort of expected too. No two lives can clasp perfectly together without jolting. Every relationship requires work; we don’t “just wake up like this”, we need the determination, willingness, and effort to make things happen.

As time passed, they both began to view life together in the future. That’s what love supposedly is, right? Looking for the same things in the same direction. And working together for them. Supporting each other. Through the good and bad times.

They had set a goal to climb a mountain and place at the very top a flag they had made together as a symbol of their commitment to each other.

The first time they tried, Sandrine found it excruciating to reach the top, and Pete pulled her up. But a few feet away, he pulled out a parachute and dropped down. Simply because it was something he always wanted to do and it was a good opportunity.

Sandrine was devastated. But they tried again.

The second time, they found that if they held each other, they could better support one another to achieve the milestone. Sandrine slipped, but when Pete tried to grab her, he glided down the slope instead.

It was disappointing for the both of them.

But they tried again. Because they knew that what they felt from the start was stronger than any mishap that occurred along the way. And if they fought as a team against it all, they would surely win.

This time Sandrine was confident they would set the flag on the top. They were ready. They had overcome all the obstacles and the peak was in sight. There was absolutely nothing rational that could destroy it all. And right when Pete was to pull out the flag from his backpack, he instead took out a sleigh, and without saying a word, trickled down the mountain like a child engulfed in a game.

Sandrine was left ghosted and lost.

He would say one thing and then act differently.

She could not understand. And he would not let her in. There was no explanation for why he would so radically change and panic when they were so close to their joint goal.

We don’t know what people think unless they tell us. But we need to accept and comprehend their side of the story. Regardless if we agree or not.

Comprehension is the key to great and honest communication.

But so is being grateful and realising the little things we have beside us. We have more than we believe, but if we don’t acknowledge them, it’ll be too late when we eventually do.

The only way is up

©MCD

There is a wonderful quote by Soren Kierkegaard that often comes to mind in tumultuous times: “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards”. We thus need to learn from the past but keep moving.

At times of emotional charge, we tend to think that we’re constantly running into our past no matter how much we try to avoid it. We see hurtful behaviours repeating, and we’re drawn into the same vicious pattern of not understanding what isn’t functioning as it should or as it so promisingly appeared to at the start.

When we’re faced with new opportunities, we want a refreshing start. We feel that there is so much out there to discover and it is revitalising when someone acknowledges your value (sometimes even more than you) and is offering you the chance to expand your potential.

The key is to not give up even when you feel you’ve hit rock bottom. There is only one way left after that, and that is up.

Whom you share good news with is a sign of whom you consider family. It’s the same people who will console you and help you pick up your pieces when you’re too exhausted too. Those people who despite their own troubles will be happy for you in your success and support you regardless. We want that cheering crowd for us. It helps us move forward.

Not stopping is what will help us survive, after all. And let’s remember, “every action you take is a vote for the person you wish to become” (James Clear), so make your habits regular actions of excellence that will only serve to raise your value.

Suspicious minds

One of the greatest problems of the contemporary world is that we’ve grown too suspicious. Of everyone and everything. Kindness is seen with disbelief, as someone wanting to deceive us or seeking something (often more expensive) in return. If someone approaches you simply with the intention of having a friendly chat, it’s like a red alarm goes off in our brain signalling caution. Whatever anyone says or does anymore is automatically perceived with severe caution and distrust.

Even during a first encounter with any potential relationship, we’re distrustful and apprehensive of everything: the words they say, their body movements, the look in their eyes; every single thing. Perhaps it’s an upshot of having been burnt too many times in the past or simply the fact that fraud and deceit are so widespread in this world where anyone can claim to be anyone and anything without any proof.

So we try to take caution.

But as we get to know people, we slowly put our guard down. Sometimes it takes a comforting smile, an honest conversation, and finding that secret button of yours that let’s them in; making you laugh. It often doesn’t take much to feel secure with someone once they win over your trust.

But then you stop being so fearful of everything. Because you think you’ll get back that love you give out; that your attention, energy, and presence will all be reciprocated. And when you’re unexpectedly hurt, you turn to ‘anthems’ like Miley Cyrus’ latest song that you can do things better on your own and take care of yourself better than anyone else can.

The truth is, however, we’re not meant to be alone. Like Aristotle said, humans are social beings. We need the company of others to survive, to evolve, to be who we are. No matter how well we cope alone, we all secretly (or not) want someone to share our life with, someone to ramble on about when we’re facing bureaucratic nonsense and are having a bad day, but also when funny and oddly good things occur too. We want someone to cuddle up with to watch a movie (even if we’ll fall asleep in the first 20 minutes of it). Someone to go on long walks with and recount what we’ve been up to; our successes as well as the adversities that we’ve encountered. We want people next to us who will console our pain during the hard times but also share our joy during the happy ones.

Despite the vicious circle of suspicion that this society has led us into, we want someone who will love, respect, and care for us, to whom we can express our soul’s desires without the fear of regretting it, and to whom we can give it all and know it will be reciprocated without ever asking for it.

In this world of distrust, we want people whom we hug and they hug us right back even tighter because they can feel that is what we need to heal our troubled hearts.

Where the door is always open

©Fleur Lind

Family is the people you run to when your heart is broken to alleviate your sorrow when life gets too much.

Family is the people you constantly quarrel with and sometimes can’t stand, but simultaneously the ones you miss terribly when they’re away.

Family is the people who buy you scratch cards simply to see you smile when you win. The ones who take you on long walks, rambling along the way, just to make you forget your own troubles.

Family is where a door is always open for you to return because the love is unconditional. Always and forever.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Learn, thrive, and grow together

It’s a skill knowing when to stop a tiff from developing into a full-grown quarrel. It takes patience and a lot of struggle to reach the point of constraint, of choosing to walk away and quieten down rather than engage in a fight not worth having.

It takes time to learn things. Any thing.

Like the fact that you cannot force people to change. No matter how much you love them or care for them. Regardless of how deeply you let them in, people will only understand what they want. And they will alter their ways only when they truly desire. But just like a selfish person cannot become more caring, an altruist cannot suddenly stop placing others first and only look out for their own benefit. It goes both ways.

It is a wonder, really: is there something in between either feeling everything so profoundly or hardly sensing anything at all?

We are so accustomed to the stories we tell ourselves, those deafening voices in our heads that convince us to try more, to talk more, to press more in the hope that we’ll put ourselves out there and people will finally see us for who we are, for what we’re worth, for the value we so long for them to acknowledge. Yet in this, we fail to see that what we intend as effort, as nurturing care, and affection, to others seems as a suffocating attempt to change their beliefs and attitudes. We judge ourselves on our intentions and not on how we make the other person feel. We act in the way we consider as ‘common sense’ and obvious, but it is not so for everyone, and we often fail to realise that people seldom think and act the same way. Our cheerful ramble confiding in another a portion of our day may be regarded as moaning and just noisy chatter. We feel disappointed and rejected because we’ve created an expectation in our head that is hardly ever met. We set out already knowing what we want to see, and are shattered when it doesn’t play out as such.

Perhaps the biggest mistake we make is taking everything too personally; even when that is how it seems, we are rarely the reason people act like they do. The real cause for people’s behaviour lies within themselves, their upbringing, their experiences, their fears, their influences, their social surroundings, or even just the noise in their own heads.

True relationships – of any sort – help us do three essential things: learn together, grow together, and thrive together. Having fun is just a bonus. Any relationship makes you better in every single way possible. That’s the point of it after all.

Genuine Smiles

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There was a difference between when she smiled wholeheartedly and when she simply forced it. Her aunt knew how to read her. She was just like her. The fake smile caused more muscles to tense. It was strained and didn’t seem natural.

We all have moments like that. When we feel obligated to smile and be courteous when in fact we feel nothing like it at all.

Charlotte saw so much of herself in her niece. Joy lived up to her name most times. But when her aura clouded, it could be sensed a mile away.

“The secret to maintaining that smile is to keep the child inside you alive”, Charlotte said.

Joy tilted her face like a cat in awe.

Think about it: when we’re simply living in that moment, blurring everything around us to the point that nothing else exists beyond what we’re doing and who we’re with at the present time, aren’t we happier? We shift all our focus to that precise period of time that we don’t care about past or future or anything else that causes us concern and stress. We feel relaxed, playful, carefree, and genuinely happy. Your heart is open to love and…well, joy, and your mind is thinking positively by default. You view the world brighter because you’ve turned the mood switch to that direction”.

Joy smiled, her head turned back straight. The smile was authentic this time.

She didn’t need to say much. Charlotte understood anyway. She gave her a hug. One of those long ones where you wait for the other person to let go first and so you stay entangled for what seems like hours, laughing while you feel each other’s heart vibrate. The embrace was so tight, Charlotte could actually feel the crack that had marked Joy’s emotions.

We’re all loving people the way we wish we were loved and hurting them the way we wish we were not hurt”.

How different the world would be if we could – even for an instance – see things from another’s point of view, step in their shoes and view their perspective. How much better everything would be, if we could just let our pride aside for a minute and show some empathy to the people around us, particularly to those we say we care for the most”.

Sometimes, love has a way of coming back to you”, Charlotte added, loosening the squeeze.

If it’s meant to be, it won’t miss you. There is always a way if we truly want it”.

Inner conflicts

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It sounds like a cliché but it’s true: Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. You are not aware of what is going on in other people’s lives. You only know what they allow you to. If you are not at the receiving end of a heartfelt conversation, you’ll never know. You won’t realise the depth of the people around you if they don’t open up to you.

People long to share their emotions. It’s a way of maximising the joy of success and good news, and a means of alleviating the suffering of pain and sadness. It’s not about making you feel jealous or burdening you with additional problems. It’s about trusting you enough to confide in you their intimate details.

Secrecy breeds pain. In all aspects. If we keep things inside of us, we’re suffering so much on our own that we’re causing our own destruction. And no one knows.

We let people in whom we can trust. Whom we believe won’t scare away. Who’ll comprehend that what we want is someone to sit by us in silence while we share our version of the world.

True, we all have different viewpoints, but it is only when we are given another’s lens that we begin to see the world differently.

Icebergs have the extraordinary ability to be able to majestically float when the majority of them is underwater, hidden from the naked eye. We sort of do the same when something is wrong. We hide it under the carpet, hoping nobody will see it and pretending it will go away.

There is so much more to what we see in others. You can discern it in their eyes, in the authenticity of their smile, in the sincerity of their laugh. Happiness comes in waves. But it’s at the lowest points that we need help getting back up. Even if asking for assistance may seem like the hardest thing to do.

Every person you meet is going through things you will never know.

Just like you share in your head thoughts you will never speak of.

Plant your energy

There is an experiment simple enough that children are even taught to carry out: you take two plants and water each of them equally, but to the one you speak lovingly with kind, encouraging words, while to the other you burst out your rage, anger and hatred. You watch them grow over time and soon realise that the first one blooms into a tall, sturdy, leafy plant, while the latter steadily withers away into misery.

Humans are like that too.

The words we receive affect us in every way.

We are told to be careful of the language we use to talk to ourselves. Those deafening voices inside our head and what they tell us. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to hear things we wouldn’t even tell our enemy. That being said, we shouldn’t tolerate such negativity neither from ourselves, neither from anyone around us.

We become what we constantly tell ourselves.

But have you ever considered that no one wants to be kicked at when they’re already down? When we’re having a bad day and someone else is having a great one, the aim is not to bring the latter down, but to lift the former up.

Friends are there to raise our spirits when we ourselves can’t talk ourselves out of a bad state. They need to realise when we require a pep talk, when we call for a reality check, or simply a few words of encouragement. There are days when life seems to suck. It’s just the way it is at that moment for some. And we need to help them deal with it. Not by showcasing all their negative traits, but by pinpointing all their positive ones so that they too can see how brilliant they are regardless if it doesn’t feel so at that time. We need people who can speak highly of us even in the midst of an argument. We don’t need people around us insensitive so as not to realise when they’re causing more trouble than they’re worth, overstaying their welcome and causing problems to an already tumultuous relationship. Friends respect our choices and the people we’re with, and they tolerate them even when they don’t agree with them. We desire friends who call to check up simply for the sake of it and who can sit with us in silence just for the company.

There is a time for being criticised and one for being consoled. Our people can distinguish between the two.

You can’t feed a plant with negativity and expect it to be the joy of life.

The same is true for people.

Treat them well, and they’ll give you even more of their heart.

It all comes down to how you make them feel.

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