A warm greeting to all the readers, and here we are again in putting another brick in the construction of this psychology and psychotherapy column. As you can see from the title, this month’s objective is the “relationship” and an analysis of what the dynamics are like in it.
If we look around ourselves, from a point of view, that can give us a perspective of ourselves and everything around us, we notice that all reality is based on the creation and continuous remodulation of relationships. We are in relationship with ourselves when we reflect on what to do and, no less, are we in relationship with situations. This last point is very important to understand how every dynamic/event of life is based on it and how it becomes a tool to achieve a greater form of psychological well-being, as well as being the daily object of our interest (creating relationships).
Having defined this first point, we see below some dynamics that characterize it. A pivotal point becomes the creation of boundaries: by this term we mean the structuring of a comfortable area, in which we can feel comfortable in our relationship with the other, without the context becoming “a dysfunctional element”. Our comfort zone exists only if we create a border that represents what we need.
We see how in a healthy relationship, each person stays in his or her own personal area and respects the other’s without breaking in abruptly. One acts in consideration of the other, one’s needs do not become unique, but exist in harmony. Metaphorically, we could identify all this by searching for that specific piece of the puzzle that fits perfectly with the other.
The dysfunctional version of all this, at the level of boundaries, becomes finding oneself with other people who invade (and to whom we allow make them invade) partly if not totally our personal space, as well as the difficulty of setting boundaries in these relationships.
Explicited even better as the comfortable area that we are going to create, comes to be determined by that line, “the border”, that we create between us and each other. That border will develop a very important aspect of the report, what we want and what we do not want to happen. Let us imagine that the boundary between us and the other is a contract that defines the rules of behaviour, what we can do, what we expect, in short everything that can happen and not.
We could say, that the existence of boundaries is something evolutionary and necessary. The body skin is an immediate example, that shows us a natural border between us. Others can be found for example in cell membranes, in the placenta that reserves and protects a fetus. The word itself is a border, which creates an extension of ourselves, so that we can exist even beyond our person. Every situation and every space in reality is naturally determined by boundaries, and these are useful, in order to give a healthy evolution and growth to daily events.
We add further, that the ability to create a boundary within the relationship becomes something that is learned and developed over the years. Through the relationships that are structured from the very first days of life, we come into contact with a context that to a greater or lesser extent, or rather in a specific way, sets boundaries and teaches us how to put them and not put them. This relational language will characterize us more and more over the years.
Boundaries are created in different ways, one of which is to say no. With “no” we affirm a limit, something that we need not happen. We create a difference between what the other wants and what we want, so we have a way to communicate to the other that within us there may exist something different from his subjectivity. It becomes interesting to make our inner voice heard on the outside, because with it we can affirm ourselves and recognize even better how we can exist immersed in the way.
A) We are continuously immersed in a relational field. We create this relational field with people, situations and objects. The need to be in relationship thus becomes, from birth, something fused with the person itself. The relationship, from this point of view, can be seen as an instrument that must be used in a conscious way, with the aim of achieving the serenity we are looking for.
B) Boundaries become an important element in the creation of relationships. With them we go to communicate and define our needs with each other. Thanks to these boundaries, we will be able to be considered and recognized in the relationship on the basis of who we are.