Why is that? Why do we always hurt the ones we love? Because we invest so much in them. They define us. We look to them for validation. We want their approval, their love and respect. When we fail to get what we expect, or what we yearn for, we are filled with hurt. We lash out at them so they might feel our pain, and be sorry for what they did. The old hurt me hurt you blues. The song that never ends. It’s crazy.
Here”s a tip. Treat your friends and loved ones with the same common courtesy and respect you would a stranger. Very simple. You don’t carry all that stupid baggage with you when you interact with a stranger. You listen to them and speak to them with a freshness that is sorely lacking in your more intimate associations. Treat each moment as if you had just met this person, even if you have known them for fifty years. Rediscover the qualities that attracted you back then, instead of replaying old hurts. It will transform your relationships.
We seem to be afraid of two things. That the other significant other (be it friend, lover, relative, whatever), doesn’t really love you and will probably leave you. Or that they love too much and are smothering you to death and you have to get rid of them. It becomes a dance of each trying to get something from the other, and not succeeding. That is where the resentments begin. Give them a break. Don’t expect anything. End the dance. Just let them be. If the relationship fades, don’t feel the need to fight it. If it blossoms, don’t do anything to try to make it stay that way or it will wilt right away. Relationships cannot be forced. It doesn’t work to try to manipulate people. Just let people be.
Good advice. I’m full of it. But I rarely practice it. But I will tell you this. I am so sick of hurting the ones I love. There is no pay off. Friends and lovers, relatives or children are not wastebaskets. Stop tossing your garbage there. Each person should be treated as an opportunity for something unique and special to occur. Turn off the old recordings you carry around in your head and be empty, and life becomes fresh once again.
Our neuroses cause us to destroy what we most value. That energy can be redirected to create our relationships anew each moment.