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Communication is key

What something means to you could mean something entirely different to someone else. 

For example, “spontaneous” to one person may mean “freedom.”  To another, it may mean “not worthy of planning with.”

There are several factors to consider within any new connection if you'd like that connection to deepen and strengthen, versus to fall apart. 

When we meet someone new, or start a new job, we see all of our past as reality, and they are a new addition to that. 

But realize or keep in mind that they have an entire history before they encountered us, too. 

Our joys, wounds, achievements, and perceived failures are specific to us, and may differ greatly from what the other has experienced. 

Communication is key. 

If a person or job seems to like you, but then asks for, demands, or doesn't seem to value you and your needs, it could be that they don't appreciate you and it's already time to sever ties. Or, it could mean that the timing is off. Or, it could mean that what you each value for certain reasons has a larger priority to have or to avoid. 

If you're feeling this contradiction, it's best to (sooner rather than later) communicate how you feel about a certain action. Hold yourself responsible only for you, and hold them responsible only for them. Do not take responsibility for their wounds from the past, and don't attempt to have them make up for people in yours. 

If they are overly suspicious of you, and you express that this makes you feel guilty even though you haven't done anything wrong, they may tell you that an ex cheated on them so now they are extra cautious. They are telling you their wound, and you are telling them how they are beginning to wound you with it. Nobody likes to be interrogated, whether guilty or innocent. To have compassion is wonderful, and you may give them grace and patience and a little extra transparency. But keep track. Trust is imperative to healthy relationships. If they are unwilling or unable to set their fears down and if the mistrust increases or continues, this is only going to cause you to feel mistreated and on edge when you've done nothing wrong. This will eventually cause you to become more mistrusting as well. 

Or another example is overdoing and being used. If you've been taken advantage of in the past and don't want to have that happen again, you may be extra cautious, closed off, and under give in the beginning. If this is the case, you're actually punishing them for your own past decisions and another person or other people's past using. Your problem in the past was not giving, but over giving. Your job in the new relationship is to learn how to say "no" if needed, and to learn to give because you can and you want to and not for any other reason. 

There can be many other examples and misunderstandings. Only you can determine where and what your wounds are. Only they can determine theirs. Nobody is entirely perfect and healed, and you can grow and heal with someone else. Our wounds aren't often triggered when we are alone because there's no one there to push those buttons. 

Expressing honestly to each other will not only help to heal wounds, it will deepen connections and trust. It will definitely feel awkward and have some pain involved, but that is also a part of acceptance and healing. 

- Doe Zantamata 


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