Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Pinnacle of Relational Life

It is a truly rare thing when we achieve real authentic rapport in relationships--any relationship. Most of us are too busy to be authentically ourselves for any length of time. This is even a problem in marriage for many people.

The intrapersonal relationship is central to success in interpersonal relationships; our relationships with others are actually strongly dependent upon our relationship with ourselves.

The “Intrapersonal” Relationship

This is about intimacy but not in a gushy gooey way; it’s about having fundamentally a first-class rapport with ourselves first, or in other words, to be at harmony with the purposes of our souls, indeed our spirits.

This is what I determine to be the final corrective in life; to the absolving of an evil world’s influence on and over us i.e. fear, mental instabilities etc. To be centrally-aligned with God basically all the time is the pinnacle of relational life because it facilitates the intrapersonal relationship.

To know what is good, and to think on it continually, and to finally do it consistently is real peace and freedom. And yet, there’s a paradoxical dependence on interdependence that makes this work.

The Dependence of Interdependence (and the Rejection of Independence)

In truth, all relationships are so dependent on the aspect of interdependence--dependence on each other--or mutual dependence. This means we must shun independence in relationships mostly as it creates resistance and dissonance i.e. relational separatedness. The best relationships in any sphere of life feature a deep and equal dependence or acknowledged and shared need for each other.

In this environment interdependence thrives. It’s about the defeat of ‘social loafing,’ a psychosocial phenomenon where people make less effort when working with others than they would alone. Interdependence links us intrinsically with people where mutual high commitment and common goals are the norm.

Personally--within ourselves--our thoughts and deeds are likewise to have interdependence with each other. There must be congruence. We must relate well with ourselves before we can relate well with others.

Personal Interdependence & Relational Interdependence

As our thoughts and deeds must depend on each other and align, so our relationships depend on us and vice versa--therefore, the best quality of any relationship is the measure to which each is dependent on the other.

The more mutual and evenly-balanced the dependence is, the higher the relationship can perform and the more motivation there is to work hard on maintaining rapport, which in turn generates ongoing trust and respect, two pillars in emotional intelligence and the maintenance of same both intra-personally and interpersonally.

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