Why Is Sharing So Important In Your Relationships?
MAUDE: Sharing is an important component of harmonious relating. I was talking to a good friend the other day on the phone, and I experienced a feeling of true closeness and warmth. We shared, really shared, ourselves with each other. In this exchange, I could sense the desire she had to hear and understand what I was feeling and thinking, what life challenges I was facing, and what was bringing me joy. She was also willing to share the same about herself with me.
Sometimes we get so busy with the doings of life that we miss the opportunity to let another person know how important they are to us. And yet, this simple act is so meaningful to each of us. The feeling that another person is interested in you and values you and they take the time to communicate that to you, not only through words but also by actions, is deeply meaningful.
This engenders a quality of openness. When you can be open it creates a special possibility for connection, especially when that openness is returned in kind. When you share yourself and feel heard and seen, it adds depth and breadth to the relationship.
This kind of sharing requires trust, a trust that can only build up over time and with experience. When there is a sense of safety between people stemming from the knowledge that each wants the best for the other, and that there is a willingness to share, a peacefulness enters the center of that relationship.When you can be open it creates a special possibility for connection Click To Tweet
PHIL: So what can I add about sharing? It is not just about material things like a car, a slice of cheesecake, or a bank account, and not just about experiences like watching “Succession”, visiting New York, or taking a walk together. The deepest form of sharing is where you share yourself, because when you feel seen and heard, that is where you feel most connected to another person, and a sense of connection is a human need, see the series “Alone” and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
There are several things that help, and by being aware of them, you will have a better chance of deep sharing.
It needs trust in the other person; trust that you will not be ridiculed or attacked. It takes time and experience to feel that you can open up to someone else.
It needs someone who can hear you and who is able to respond to feelings. Not everybody can do that. I once worked with a therapist who was uncomfortable with letting a session progress beyond the verbal.
And it needs you to be honest, to drop all pretense, and be as clear as possible about the situation, whether it be the state of your heart or the state of your bank balance. That may just be the starting point. The back and forth of an honest conversation allows you to dive deeper and use both your introspection and an outside perspective to obtain deeper clarity than you can achieve alone.
An undefended exchange can at times lead to an extraordinary sense of shared understanding. This is how to achieve the sense of connection we all need.
Photo credit: Phil Mayes
Photo note: Interspecies sharing
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