How to measure our relationships and make them healthy


If you were to say in a one short sentence what makes for a healthy relationship, what would it be? Here is my take on it: if a relationship between two individuals is mutually supportive and positively resonating with each other, then it is healthy.

I have tried this definition with quite a few people and many of them came back saying they like the sound of a positively resonating relationship. I think this way of looking at relationships applies to all important relationships in our lives. Relationship with your parent, your siblings, friends, your boss, colleagues, business partners and of course the significant personal relationship in your life.

There are many ways of looking at relationships. And the way we see relationships from the Advaita Life Practices perspective is that of roles we play in a relationship. What role you are playing and what role your friend or colleague or boss is playing and how well those roles are understood and how well they are played, all of that makes for whether the relationship becomes mutually supportive and positively resonant.

So it is almost as if we are playing off a script which we have walked into without even knowing about it. And do we play just one role in each of the relationships?

We play different roles in different situations around a relationship. A mother and daughter play certain role when they are by themselves at home. The roles change when they are in school for a parent teacher conference for example. Similarly, the roles that you play with your boss at one on one meetings may change during public presentations and group meetings.

A sustained mutually supportive and resonating relationship between two people requires that you both know and can depend upon each other to be consistent in playing the supportive roles in the whole range of situations they find themsleves in. But we have to be careful about consistency. Consistency is something to aim for once we have a healthy relationship. Consistency by itself does not make for supportive and resonant relationship. An extreme example may be that of an abusive parent-child or boss-employee relationship, which is consistent over time and cannot be broken off easily due to dependency on part of one of the two parties.

So these are two things you need to assess about a relationship: one whether it is mutually supportive and resonating and second whether the roles need fine tuning to make it consistent.

How does one go about making this assessment of whether a relationship is mutually supportive and positively resonating?

To do these self-assessments, you have to become aware of the roles you and the other person are playing, the impact those roles are having on your sense of well being.

To become aware one has to become a better observer. Observe in minute detail what you do when you think of the other person, when you are with the other person and when you talk about the other person with third parties. You have to observe even while you are playing out your role. The process of observation creates a momentum for change for better resonance in the relationship.

The natural follow up question that comes to mind is: but wont the stepping back and observing put a damper in what I am saying and doing? How to step back and observe and at the same time not bring all your actions to a stand still is something you will learn from practices taught at ALC group sessions and courses, through specific breath work, visualization, contemplations and meditations. And we also guide you to make periodic assessments of relationship health in a non threatening, non impactful way and how to then go about refining your key relationships, both personal and business.

Jayant Kalawar is the author of The Advaita Life Practice, available at Amazon.

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