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Have You Ever?
How many times have you heard someone talk about their interpersonal relationship in a negative way, with every chance, and every audience they may have?

Have you ever asked yourself, "Why does that person talk so negatively about something, that is supposed to be a positive force in their life"?

Have you ever asked yourself, "Why do I have some negative thoughts, and emotions, when it comes to interpersonal relationships, and more succinctly love?

Have you ever asked yourself, "In what ways am I projecting, or embracing, a negative thought pattern, or action, when it comes to interpersonal relationships?

If we are all honest with ourselves, we have not only asked ourselves these kinds of questions before, we have also asked our friends, family, and co-workers these kinds of questions before. If we are all honest with ourselves, these are the kinds of questions, that we would rather not think about, much less confront in our life at times.

As hard and uncomfortable as it may be at times, I believe that it is important for all of us, to not only ask ourselves these kinds of questions, but just as importantly, be willing to face the answers that may come forth inside us.

So many times when we meet someone, we focus ( whether consciously or subconsciously ) on showing only certain parts of ourself with that other person. What causes us to be so myopic not only in ourselves, but with other people as well? Is it the fear of rejection that causes us to hide ourselves, until we feel we have truly been accepted? Is it the fear of the not being in control of something so wonderfully deep and immense, that causes us to be strangers at times, with those we are striving to become closer with?

We have all had moments in our life, ( me included ) where we stopped ourselves from saying, and sharing, what we truly wanted, and needed to with the other person at a particular moment, and we walked away from that moment with regret of not having reached out like we could have, and should have. It is not always easy to open up, and share with someone else, what we are thinking, or feeling, especially when we are not sure what we are thinking and feeling at the moment, much less how we got to that moment inside ourselves.

In general terms, I believe there are two main reasons why we stop ourselves from saying, and sharing, what we truly want, and need to at times, with another person.

The first main reason I believe why we all stop ourselves at times, from being as expressive and open, as we truly want to with another person, is because at some point, we realized that we truly don't know why we are thinking or feeling a certain way, at a particular moment, about someone, and we withdraw inside ourselves. It is hard to be open and expressive with another person, when we don't understand what is going on inside of us, and what led us to the place we are in ourselves, and with them.

We all come to that point inside ourselves at times, where we need to take a step back as it were, and commune with ourselves, and try and find the answers to some questions inside of us, so that we can be more open and expressive, not only inside of us, but with others as well.

While I believe that it is very important for us to commune inside ourselves, I want to caution you not to spend too much reflective time in yourself, in this area. I have been guilty of doing this very thing many times in my life. It is something that I struggle with at times. It is also an area I am actively working on inside of me. If we are not careful, we will get lost in this analyzation process, and miss out on the precious moments before us. As a dear friend shared with me recently, not everything needs to be analyzed. That simple fact struck home for me. I have been guilty of analyzing way too much in my life at times. When we do that ( me included ) all the time in our interpersonal relationships, we alienate ourselves from others. Would you want to be around someone all the time, who not only absorbed everything you said, and did, but also the why of it all? At times, it is truly needful for us to analyze a particular situation in our life. The problems comes ( and it will sooner or later ) when we allow that mindset to permeate all areas of our life. Sometimes we just need to experience and appreciate the moment and blessing before us. It is not necessary, or even practical, for us to always seek some deeper meaning in that which can, and should speak for itself.

Have you ever given a gift to someone you cared about, and instead of living in the moment, by opening the present, and then embracing you in joy and love, they start giving commentary on everything involved, that led up to the gift giving, as well as the possible deeper meaning later on from such an expression? How did that make you feel inside? That is a classic example of someone analyzing a moment that shouldn't have been analyzed. That is a classic example of someone being way too serious all the time.

The example I just shared with you, was a metaphorical one, and one that I have been guilty of at times in my life. I am not proud of myself for having those kinds of moments. I realize that none of us is perfect. I am certainly far from it. I wanted to share that personal example ( if you will ) with you, in hopes that what I have learned and experienced in myself, as well as with help from others at times, will help you to not make some of the same mistakes I have. When we analyze things way too much, we start assuming things about ourselves, and others. That road leads to alienating the very people, that we want to be closer with.

The second reason I believe that we may stop ourselves at times, from being as open and expressive as we would like, is the fear of rejection. It is the fear of being seen less than who we are, and wish to be in ourselves, and with another person.

There are going to be people that come into your life, in whatever way each day, that for whatever reason, have no desire to see you for you. There are going to be times, where people chose to see what they want to see about you, whether its right or wrong, and never get to truly know the person of you. No matter what we do sometimes, that happens to each and every one of us.

I realize that experiencing something like that is not pleasant, and at times, painful. However, I think we all ( me included ) need to do our best, to not allow those experiences to be symbolic of how we seek to interact with others.

There are going to be times, when you say something completely stupid to someone you care about. There are going to be times, when you say something you wished you hadn't to someone you care about. There are going to be times, when you are are talking with someone, and no matter what, both of you struggle to get your point and heart across, in the manner in which you truly want, and need to, and you both walk away frustrated with one another. There are going to be times, when you just don't have the words to properly convey what is on your mind and heart. There are going to be times, when you just need to be alone, trying to relax, and refresh the inside of you.

We all have 'our' moments so to speak. We can't be perfect. It is impossible. Interpersonal relationships are not ( at least they shouldn't be ) about saying, and doing, the right thing every moment, of every day. Interpersonal relationships are about being who we truly are, and being proud of being us. Interpersonal relationships are about giving ourselves the gift of realization, that even though we do our best at times, we will also fail at times. That doesn't mean that we are any less wonderful because we are who we are. It simply means that interpersonal relationships are about embracing that fact with another person, and realizing that no matter what, there will be bumps in the road along the the path of relationships.

Sooner or later, that special person we care about, is going to see us in one of 'our' moments. They are going to see us when we aren't at our best. We ( me included ) need to stop being so concerned, that the person we care about, will see us in one of our less than stellar moments. We need to do our best to be who we are, as best we can each day, and share the wonderful gift of ourselves with others. Sometimes we ( me included ) put way too much pressure on ourselves. Sometimes we analyze things too much, and we project to the person we care about, that we can never be satisfied, when that is the farthest thing from our mind and heart. When we get into the 'analyzing things to much mode', we not only get out of balance inside ourselves, we also make it hard to see the wonderful blessing of the little things that are before us each day.

We ( me included ) all need to remember to just breathe, and enjoy the moments as they come, instead of analyzing it all, or trying to help God out in some way, by getting in His way.

If the person we truly care about, walks away from us, because we had one of 'our' moments, or we weren't what they needed, or wanted at that moment, then that person didn't truly care about us like they said they did.

I hope that this article has been a blessing to in some way. The things I have shared with you in this article, are things that I have seen not only in others at times, but more importantly in myself. The things that I have shared with you in this article, are also things that a dear friend has helped me to see, appreciate, and grow from.
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