There comes a time in life, when we have to pause and reflect on a relationship we have with someone. Generally, this pause occurs after we have experienced “a reason” to look carefully at a relationship with someone we called friend, or even someone we are in intimate relationship with, and now we are disappointed. We think about why the relationship developed- what set of circumstances caused our personalities to mesh and respond to each other in a positive manner.
Sometimes, even an “empty” relationship has to evolve enough for us to discover that the relationship is indeed-”empty.” The first step in the rewind is- examine your personal participation and responsibility in the empty relationship. Ask yourself some vital questions.
How did this relationship come into being?
What is my personal responsibility for encouraging the relationship?
Did this relationship, now “empty” ever fulfill a need in me?
Was there a selfish motivation on my part?
Any relationship we have with another person requires us ultimately to take the responsibility of being a good steward of our time. This is not to say you have to have some motive for a friendship; an altruistic friendship can develop. You enjoy the company of another individual and the relationship expands and develops.
People invariably tell you where they are coming from, if you are willing to listen carefully to what they say to you. Listening is key; listen – not with an emotional “ear.” We all have an innate compass that sends up a flag, follow that inner-global positioning system (GPS). It is hardly ever wrong. Don’t ignore it, you will be lying to yourself from the beginning. It is true, you have to train yourself to hear more than you speak.
Everything we do is based on the choices we make in life. Sometimes we try to force a relationship to come together the way we choose, whether the relationship is platonic or romantic. People we form relationships with are chosen because they meet the criteria we established; they are personal qualities we consider meaningful. We either admire, respect or agree to the characteristics of the people we form relationships with or we would only call these individuals acquaintances instead of them reaching the level to even be considered -”empty.” This means, “good looks” does not equal “good character,” nor does “homely” mean a person is “dull” or boring. Consider the order in which you arrange expectations and consider how the other person just might see you. For example, do you place “good looks” above “good character?” Consider which traits you think you can trust the most. See where I am going with this? You will be surprised what you will discover.
To deem a relationship to be empty, to me means, you are disappointed in the relationship. People disappoint only, when we have exaggerated expectations of them. We can only make the most of our own personal persona. We can be the best we know how to be and still be called “empty” by someone else, whose criteria and expectations of a relationship exceed our ability to meet and perform. A person who seems “empty” to you is not necessarily empty to everyone else. That is why it is important to examine your own personal expectations and ask the important questions of yourself to see if you simply missed the connect because of unrealistic expectations. Understand your needs before you make a judgment.
Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true and thou canst not then be false to any man.