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Why do relationships go sour

Human beings are social. We cannot live in isolation. We need to have people around with whom we can connect, share emotions and feel that we belong to. This is true for everyone. We all want to feel wanted, loved and honored. We are also happy in giving the same to others. But then why do relationships go sour?  Relationships are said to be the first indicator of person’s happiness and quality of life. These can vary from close relationships like family and friends to colleagues, neighbors, business associates, acquaintances and even strangers.

Healthy relationships are good for mental health & happiness. We want happiness and share this happiness with our loved ones. Then why do people feel so lonely today? Why do we get hurt or feel uncared by others? Why we are getting more and more isolated even after having many people around both in real and virtual life?

Situation is painful but fortunately easy to understand and rectify. To understand one must understand the spectrum of relationships, its interdependence and interactions. Relationships go sour because we let them go sour. Relationships can be kept healthy by proper management. There are many factors which play crucial role in keeping relationships healthy. These are :

Priority : One must be clear about priorities in relationships giving due space, time and involvement to each relationship. Be sure about who is important and how much. But one must make sure that this should not be defined by selfishness. Priority should be in fair proportion done with honesty and giving due importance to sense of responsibility.

Roles : One must clarify the role one is required to be play in relationship. Whatever your role is be it parent, sibling, friend, boss or any other. See honestly, are you playing your role with sincerity or not? There is no harm in making a realistic self assessment and / or get feedback. Carefully watch complaints or situations which will give you fairly correct idea how you are doing. But be careful to be realistic as people’s expectations will run high. So must know how to have balance in life. This is possible if you can have balance of playing your role nicely on one hand and have the ability to say polite no to undue expectations.

Expectation : One must have realistic expectations for healthy development of relationship. This is true for both expectations from yourself and from others. It is common to see guilt feeling if you try to overdo. In this case either you will have frustration or guilt. You may also feel used by others. Make fair assessment of own and others expectations and have a balance in life keeping in view your other priorities of life.

Space : one must create sufficient self space and respect others space. Just like expectations, space must also be balanced. You must have your own space. Learn ways to maintain your space without getting harsh with others. Similarly respect others space and honor that if they resist your intrusion even if in your point of view that was ok.

Independence: Interdependence is necessity of relationship but independence is necessary to keep relationships healthy. Just like financial independence, emotional and intellectual independence is necessary in every relationship. This will allow you to resist possessiveness and other negative traits.

Values : Values like honesty and sincerity are crucial for healthy relationship. We wish to have honesty and sincerity from others but we fail to do same from our side. Our selfishness and greed does not allow us to be fair. How often we find excuses for our selfishness and justify it to our self or others. But when it comes to other person we get furious and ready to take revenge be it verbal or in deeds.

Communication : Lack of proper communication is the cause of most relationship problems. All above factors will play role in your relationships and you are required to communicate. But most often we communicate in harsh or sarcastic manner. Our focus is on blames. We must learn how to communicate own point of view and similarly listen patiently other persons point of view. This is art. Learn the art of communication.

Transformation : No relationship is static. They change with time. But unfortunately we do not understand the necessity of such transformation. Siblings or children share one kind of relationship before their marriage and different after. Some personality traits and temperament are likely to change. This does not mean that there is less affection after their marriage or they have changed. If one understands the transformation process then it would be easily to relate under new circumstances.

Conflict resolution : Human beings think and act differently. But it is not necessary to allow these different ways to become conflicts. And even if they occur do not allow conflicts to linger on. Discuss and solve at earliest opportunity. One most important thing is to handle each other gently. Attack on the person is not the strategy. One should instead adopt solution oriented strategy.

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