Does it happen to you in relationships? You really want to say a No – it could be for a dinner, it could be for a rational or irrational request or to the relationship itself… all you want to do is say No. A loud, resounding No. But somehow you can’t. You are afraid to. You are worried how the other may react. You procrastinate. And then a time comes, when the No happens – and it is much uglier than anticipated?
Has it ever happened to you? You want to express yourself to someone. You want to tell them what is happening is not okay. You want to speak and speak – and just let it all out. You need to vent! But you don’t. You just don’t. The time wasn’t right. The place wasn’t right. The mood wasn’t right. And somehow this pending conversation happens – and in fact, messes things a lot more because of the time lapse?
I have been observing myself in relationships very closely. And I have realized something important. Some of the best relationships fail in the long run because the two people concerned made just one small error: they didn’t say what they mean, and they didn’t mean what they said. I have also seen lukewarm relationships gain so much vigor over time when people have stayed true to themselves, and to the other in the relationship.
I am increasingly realizing just how important it is to maintain transparency, especially in the relationships that really matter. Sometimes you don’t want to do something – and that is fine. Instead of doing it against your wish repeatedly and building resentment towards the other person, is it not better to say no at the start itself? Someday or the other that suppressed No is anyways going to let loose – and it will probably be much more intense than the simple no at the start.
Yes, there is always that thought of what the other will feel… in this sense I have seen it is not about what you say but how you say it. Sometimes even a yes can be said in a very half-hearted way that creates ripples and sometimes a no can be said so simply, so gently, that it does not hurt at all.
Why do we enter relationships? To be ourselves, to inspire, to aspire, to love and to express. And yet relationships that lose lackluster are the ones where each of these stops happening. For some reason, we start wearing heavy masks and stop being ourselves with each other. In time, the company we so enjoyed starts looking like a strain.
Think about it – some of the happiest times in life are always those where we are somehow in the moment, flowing and being our most authentic selves. These are memories that are everlasting and ever-enriching and these can only happen when we are allowed the space to BE.
To ensure my relationships are beautiful – and only continue to grow in-depth, I have developed a simple discipline. Before I sleep, I introspect and if there is any very close relationship where I feel there may be some residual emotions, I express myself. Could be in person, over a WhatsApp or a mail but I generally avoid sleeping with any unresolved feelings. This helps me keep the slate so clean, and the water ever-fresh and gurgling with love, bliss and peace.
My simple striving in every relationship: To say what I mean, and to mean what I say. It is the secret.
To conclude with an important lesson I learnt from my guru Mahatria: If you do not say NO within a relationship, there will come a day when you will say NO to The Relationship.