No human would have ever thought that relationships, yes, good relationships could ever become the core and fundamental cause of a ‘stable happy’ life. Can’t believe it right? At first, I didn’t believe it too but then when I saw the TED Talk by Dr. Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist and the director of Harvard Study of Adult Development, I was really amazed by the fact that such a simple thing could be of so much value that it completely changes the typical mindset of ‘rat race’ in our society.
I don’t want to go into much detail about the terminologies and the cases he discussed, but just wanted to clarify a few important things that were going in my mind from the past few days.
Now here a question pops up in our mind which is, exactly what do we mean by a relationship and how can we maintain it? Relationships are of many types and according to the situations our roles change. These different roles are constantly changing and thus cannot be interchanged, for example, a father and son relationship is completely different from a father and his mother or say a father and his boss or a father and his friend relationship. Thus our minds get automatically formed according to the relation we are entering into and our thoughts and emotions act accordingly, say in that direction.
In this fast paced world of social media, we tend to think that our relationships are maintained, but in actuality, they are becoming a little shallow. A lot of misunderstandings and misinterpretations happen because of these apps which by the way, constantly change our decisions to act according to our present instincts. The hacking of emotions happens which makes us hyper and attract us to be virtually present in all the possible situations.
To maintain a relationship, ‘understanding’ plays a very vital role. If you cannot at the least understand what the person in front wants to express, then you are better off of the Earth because weaknesses are a part of human nature and you just cannot expect that your friend or your uncle or your father behave according to your wishes and your expectations. To sum it up in one sentence, ‘Just bring down your expectations to zero or keep them realistic’. Sounds really tough, right? Yes it is tough. Why? Cause we all are programmed to constantly expect something from someone, then be it a human or our pet or sometimes from God himself! This society is all talking about a rush to gain something or the other, and just doesn’t know how to take a pause to think or to celebrate life; the same applies while we strive to maintain our relations.
Till this day, honestly ask yourself, “How many expectations of mine are fulfilled by some person who is a relative of mine?” Many right? Then why are we from our side making this mistake of mixing up all our relationships together and expecting from our expectations that they will be somehow, fulfilled by a person who has his own bank of expectations which are to be fulfilled, maybe by you or from someone else?
Here, I remember a movie named ‘Dear Zindagi’ which is a roller coaster ride in terms of ‘soul searching’ and makes us think about some important aspects of our lives, in a deeper sense through a story which is simple yet a little bit confusing just like its characters. In this movie, Dr. Jahangir a psychiatrist says to his patient that – “ No single relationship should bear the burden of being the perfect one. You can have many different types of relationships like one with whom you share your reading taste, ‘Have a Book relationship‘, one with whom you share your coffee taste ‘Let’s grab a coffee relationship‘, ‘Music relationship and so on’.
Romantic relationship is also one of its type and you just can’t burden it with all these small relationships.”
Just having lots of good and positive friends and relatives around is not the solution, but the quality of time actually spent with them eventually matters then be it for a few hours, a few months or a few years, is what decides the true meaning of it. Time and again, there will be fights and quarrels but the ultimate bond from within, which is to be completely relied upon that particular person whenever something goes wrong, is the major difference between a quantity and a quality relationship. If you ask me, the forgotten values should be brought back again.