With the stresses of modern life, it isn’t always easy to nurture deep, meaningful connections with others. In fact, research shows that Americans today are more disconnected from their family, friends, and neighbors than ever before. It indicates that people are meeting with their friends less often than ever, and are even spending less time with their own families. And even though we’re interacting with more people on daily basis, we’re unable to cultivate healthy, lasting relationships with most of them.
Individualism, because it promotes oneself over a sense of community, has often been seen as a hindrance to the development of healthy interpersonal relationships. The decline in healthy connections between Americans, it seems, is accompanied with a rise in individualism. According to research discussed in USA Today, American society has increasingly been focused on the self since the 1960s. There has been a greater emphasis on the uniqueness and greatness of individuals, indicating a constant rise in individualism in American society.
If you’re ready to overcome this focus on yourself, and to reconnect with others to make a positive change, Sadhguru’s advice will provide guidance and help you improve your relationships. Below, Sadhguru explains the nature of relationships, why issues arise, and how you can create beautiful relationships:
“There are many types of relationships that you hold in your life. There are neighbours, friends, wives, husbands, children, parents, siblings, lovers; there are people who hate each other, everything is a relationship. Fundamentally, all relationships in your life have come up because you have certain needs to fulfill—physical, mental, emotional, social, financial and so on. You try to establish a certain type of relationship to fulfill whatever kind of need you have. If that need is not fulfilled, that relationship cannot be.
Today, our lives have become complex and we are constantly shifting from one type of relationship to another. One moment you are on the phone with your business partner and the next moment you are talking to your wife. Life is like this. It is constantly shifting. If you treat your wife like you treat your business partner, immediately you are in trouble. If you treat your business partner like your wife again you are in trouble. So, it needs constant juggling to keep these relationships going. It all depends on how many balls you picked up for juggling. If you just had one, it would be easy. But you have picked up ten so now juggling is complex. You don’t want to drop any one of them because if any one of them fall, a part of your life will fall apart. So you want to juggle all the ten balls at the same time. When you are juggling ten balls, can you think of anything else?
There is another way to exist experientially where one can exist without any relationships. One is so complete within himself that it does not matter. But right now, for most people, the quality of their relationships decides the quality of their life. So let’s see how we can have the most beautiful relationship, every moment of our lives, wherever we are. If you look at it, you are trying to somehow make yourself happy by building different types of relationships and doing different types of activities. You make friends, you get married, you have children, you start businesses—you do everything—because somewhere you believe this will bring you happiness. You built all these relationships in pursuit of happiness. Or in other words, somewhere you are trying to squeeze some happiness out of people. Once you do this, relationships will be a constant trouble. You cannot do without it, you cannot do with it. There is no sense of joy or happiness within you, and you are trying to extract it from somebody, and that person is trying to extract it from you. This is bound to become a battle.
If relationships have to be really beautiful, it is very important that a human being turns inward and looks at himself in a very deep way before he looks at somebody else. If you become a source of joy by yourself and your relationships are about sharing your joy, not squeezing joy out of somebody, then you would have wonderful relationships with anybody. Is there anybody in the world who would have any problem with you if you are going there to share your joy with them? No. You are trying to extract joy from them, that is where the problem is. Relationships have become a problem because we are not using it to enhance our lives. We are trying to fill the gaps in our lives with relationships.
If your relationship is about extracting something out of somebody, it does not matter how much you manage, there will be constant trouble. If your relationship was an offering to the person who is next to you right now, then everything would be fantastic.”
By keeping Sadhguru’s wise words in mind, you will be able to create deeper and more meaningful relationships with others.