No, don’t “Just trust your feelings,” that’s a most excellent way to fuck everything up.
But it’s a catchy tune, for sure.
On yesterday’s writing, @Rima asked:
My question is…how does one know if the shared goal is to strengthen the relationship? Simply by asking?
Well, asking is one step, sure.
Not all the steps.
And to be clear, we never really KNOW, right? I mean, we don’t have access to another’s mind or feelings, and they could be misleading us.
However, I think we can, with the right observations, feel pretty damn good about our assessment of a situation, and move forward breathing easier.
The three factors are:
- What do they say?
- What do they do?
- What do you feel?
All of these things play an important part.
What do they say?
Yes, ask. Clear communication matters. Hearing the words and discussing what those words mean can make a huge difference.
What do they do?
Do their actions back up their words? Are their behaviors congruent with their stated intentions?
Watch them. Pay attention. As Maya Angelou said:
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
No matter what we say, our actions matter.
And over time, little things show themselves that were cleverly hidden during earlier days that can paint a new picture that you hadn’t seen before.
Not all of these things are bad.
Some people hide a soft and squishy heart under a gruff exterior. Some people are slimy and gross underneath a charming facade.
Watch for where they leak authenticity.
What do you feel?
How does what they say and do feel to you? If it feels good, great! If it feels not-so-good, well…
What if you’re wrong?
Sure, you could be wrong. You have probably been wrong in the past. I have. In fact, I’ve been both right and wrong.
I’ve felt that twinge of “ewww,” and covered it with warm feelings of affection, because I wasn’t ready to really pay attention yet.
I heard what they said, and I made it a priority over what they did, and over how I really felt about it.
I learned. You can, too.
Mostly, I accept that I am fallible, and that I will never KNOW, even if I ‘know.”
I love whom I love, I pay attention, I treat people the best I know how for their individual situations, and I communicate, so they, too, can “know” as much as possible.