Lately I’ve been very aware of the fact that what we really want in our relationships is closeness. So maybe you’re lucky and when you ask yourself, “do I feel close (enough) to the people I love”, the answer is yes. But maybe you have to answer no, even though you consider your relationships good, or don’t have any major problems.
So what makes us feel close to our loved ones? It does not have to do with how much time you spend with the other person, or with how close you live or how much you get to share. It’s about – being seen. Truly and honestly. It’s about the other person “getting you”, feeling you, understanding your feelings however complicated they may be, and having them in consideration.
It sounds simple, but it’s not. So many times we ask a question, and maybe we even listen to the answer. But how many times do we really hear it? How many times is hearing the answer really about the other person, and not just another entry for a train of thoughts about ourselves and our own part of the world?
I don’t know about you, but it happens to me that someone asks me something, and I only share the positive part of my answer. The one that creates harmony, or makes the other person happy. I don’t want to hurt anyone. But then my negative feelings build up, and at some moment I have to admit to myself that they’re there, and then the step of being honest with the other person is quite a big one. Being honest hurts frequently. But what’s the alternative? For the other person to not see you. And that can only mean one thing: Your closeness will fade away.
This morning I read a really interesting blog about asking questions. Good questions. Not just “how was your day?”. But maybe something like “Did you feel proud today at any moment? “Did you feel loved?” What made you happy today?” or even, if we dare, “what made you sad or frustrated today”. To ask this kind of questions and to really listen to the answers as something that helps us see the other person and have them in consideration seems like a great start.
On the other side, showing ourselves, the real us, could be a wonderful challenge, and daily goal. Being honest, even about your negative feelings seems like a good first step. That means to take a risk, yes. But if every day it gets a little more true if you say “Yes, I feel close to the people I love” – isn’t that worth it?