If you can’t relate to someone, you can surely excuse yourself from the relationship.
My brother and I spoke to each other after several years this morning. He called me over phone to invite me for a lunch to celebrate a milestone in his family. I wished him well. So did he. I thanked him for his invitation. But I told him that I would like to be excused because I certainly did not feel like visiting him or the rest of the family. I clarified additionally that there was no rancor, no anger, no grief – just that I didn’t feel like being there. He said he appreciated my stand. And we hung up wishing each other well.
Over the years, a lot of water has flown under the bridge as far as my family is concerned. And some part of it has been stirred, owing to my lack of evolution then perhaps, by me too. I wish I had been as clear and resolute in my thinking even then when I was provoked by both people and circumstance. In a way, I believe this morning’s conversation is progressive though, at least I could say what I felt and I got the sense that I was respected – and not judged – for what I said. Even if it wasn’t the way I thought it was, I am glad I spoke my mind.
This learning though has come by the hard way. I have understood that people, especially the ones who you deem are the closest to you, often judge you. Or they are influenced by the judgements and pronouncements of others around you. Either way, if anyone exercises the right to say what they feel about you to you, it is only human that you want to retort, to defend, to clarify and to insist that they understand you. But what if they don’t understand you or don’t want – for their own reasons – to understand you? When such a thing happens, the relating between people goes out of the relationship. But in our craving to be understood, we cling on to the relationship which is not just strained, it is actually dead. This is how we end up suffering people and meaningless relationships. How can there be a relationship when there is no relating? I have now learnt to let such people and relationships just be. Nobody is right or wrong when two people cannot relate to each other. Lack of chemistry is just that – a lack of compatibility, a lack of shared perspective and a lack of empathy between each other. Trying to accommodate someone in your Life when you don’t relate to that person anymore causes unnecessary stress in your Life and theirs! You often adjust and accommodate in such situations because you don’t want to be seen as unforgiving, unrelenting or unfamilial – especially when it involves immediate blood relations. But I have learnt that how you feel is more important than what others expect you to do.
Of course, you may choose to disagree with me. You may say that it is just one Life, that we must drop the ego, bury hatchets, build bridges and move on. I don’t disagree either. Except that when you have stopped relating to some people in your Life, you just prefer to drop the ego, bury all the hatchets, forgive yourself and them, but build bridges to newer folks, newer places and move on. Whatever you do, never compromise on your inner peace. For that’s really the only thing that you have that’s within your control and which you can call your own!