Monday, May 14, 2018

Relationship with Others: May 11 2018

Charles West Mindfulness Group
2nd and 4th Friday of Month
Club/Recreation Room, Floor 31.
1:00pm sharp - 3:00pm
Facilitator:  Alainnah Robertson

Friday, May 11


Our meditation was 15 minutes, spent in our place of peace; our oasis of tranquility.

Our discussion centred on creating an Intention around our relationship with others. what do we want our relationships to look like?

Emotional Intelligence is what we need as we develop our relationships with the other people in our lives. This applies to all relationships.

Using the basic principles of Emotional Intelligence, we can develop a Vision of how we want our behaviour in a relationship to look.

  1. Self awareness
This is the first principle of Emotional Intelligence, and this is what we use to develop our relationships with the other people in our lives. This applies to all relationships.
The Objective Self that stands outside ourselves, is what we use to observe our behaviour, and that of others. Honestly, what am I thinking, doing and feeling, and how am I behaving in the relationship?

  1. Managing emotions
We have understood how to manage our emotions, and our motivation is that we want to avoid hurting others as much as possible. Honestly, what am I thinking, feeling and doing, and am I showing hurtful feelings, such as anger, in the relationship?
Boundaries are what we can implement in a relationship. We know what we want, and need, and we have learnt to say, "No!" We can do this kindly, with a smile, but firmly.

  1. Self-motivation
We truly want to develop good relationships with other people. We want to keep peace whenever possible, and work out challenges to a win-win solution. Honestly, am I working at the relationship to improve it?
Personal Responsibility is something we accept in a relationship. We know that our own behaviour is what we can control, and we don't try to control or change the other person in the relationship. We accept them with non-judgemental love.

  1. Empathy
We want to understand, and respect, the feelings and motivations of other people. We want to give support to others in achieving their chosen goals. Honestly, am I contributing to the relationship what is necessary to support the common aims?
Listening to the other person, is how we learn the other's point of view. As we strive to understand that different viewpoint, and respect it, we can probably propose a common meeting point that is acceptable to both. We can respectfully discuss options, and come to a win-win answer for both people.

  1. Handling Relationships
We want to have good relationships with everyone in our lives. We are prepared to do the psychological work on ourselves that is necessary to achieve this goal. Honestly, are we doing that work?
Meditation can help us in all aspects of our relationships. As we rest in our place of peace, we can quietly contemplate any situation from as many viewpoints as possible. We can search for common ground so that a win-win answer can be found.

Our Intention in relationships emerged clearly as we examined each principle and shared experiences from our own lives. Doing this, we developed a clear understanding of our Vision for relationships.

We want a relationship in which we ourselves behave in an emotionally mature fashion. Self-aware, and self-reflective, we act with emotional restraint. We practice empathy, making the effort to see the point of view of the other person. We listen carefully, and patiently, to what is said, before answering. We honestly present our point of view, and set clear boundaries that we are not prepared to have crossed. We love non-judgmentally, allowing the other person freedom from our control. We work with the other person, instead of imposing our will on them.


For instance: a mother dealing with a teenage daughter could sit down with her and discuss quietly why a curfew is being set as to when she has to be home at night. The mother could say that she understands that her daughter wants to go out with friends and have fun. She could then go on to explain that the curfew is being put in place out of concern for the daughter's safety. As long as the daughter is in the care of the mother, it is the responsibility of the mother to set clear boundaries on what is acceptable behaviour from her daughter. The win-win would be if they could come to a common understanding of how the daughter will deal with going out with her friends in a responsible and mature manner, coming home at an acceptable, safe time.

We all were agreed that having a clear understanding of relationships, and how to work on them, is very helpful. The wish was expressed that this had been taught to us in our youth. We took comfort from the fact that Mindfulness is being widely taught systematically in schools, universities, hospitals, and many other places. We hope young people are benefiting from it as much as we are!

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