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The truth about relationships

As an introduction to this chapter, I must share with you an insight I got quite late in life. This insight will set the tone for further reading as well as it will serve you as a guide in building and maintaining your relationships in life. The insight itself is very simple:

All relationships are in your head.

To explain this, let me start with some fundamentals.

#1. The way you treat others is the way you treat yourself.

Conflicts disrupt your inner balance. By engaging in a conflict situation, you take away your inner peace with your own hands. Did you get yourself into an argument? You’ve placed an argument in you. You had a fight? Now, you host a fight in your soul.

#2. People will not reciprocate. And that’s ok.

When it comes to a relationship between two people views of these two people on the nature of the relationship may differ. What one sees as a friendship may not be perceived as such by the other. Miscommunication may further aggravate misunderstanding.

#3. No one will ever understand the depth of you.

Your feelings and your thoughts, your inner turmoil and the slightest movements of your soul — everything is forever conserved within. You will never fully grasp what people think about you. They will never entirely understand how much you care about them. That is an intrinsic part of being a human. It is important to accept it and make peace with it. And once you do it, it liberates you. First of all, you start to care less about what others think — what’s good in worries about the opinions of people who can’t possibly understand the depth of you? Secondly, you become more selective about people you surround yourself with and attentive toward your own feelings. You understand that real actions is the only indication of their attitude.

#4. Create stress.

Athletes create stress by forcing muscles to work until failure — a point where the muscular system is no longer able to produce sufficient force to overcome a workload. Application of overloading stimulus creates micro-tears in the muscle fibers which are subsequently repaired during the recovery period resulting in so-called overcompensation — improvement in strength, tone, and size of the muscle.

#4. You determine the level of attachment.

The realization that all of your relationships are in your head gives you the clarity to see that the value you place on a relationship is entirely up to you. You are the one who determines how much importance the relationship carries. Reflect on your expectations from the relationship and detect the drawbacks of it, invest in the relationship or distance yourself, gravitate or attract. Being cold-minded doesn’t mean being cold. It is way more practical than drowning in thoughtless emotions.

#5. Practical intelligence is not mercantilism.

The realization that the way the relationship is perceived by another person differs from the way you perceive it increases your practical intelligence. Seeing the relationship from the perspective of another person lets you understand the motives behind people’s actions and possible incentives that would set them in motion executing the desired scenario. An ability to empathize with their point of view is a quality that is crucial for people mastery.

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