Dismantling social conditioning

I love relating in a slowed down and mindful way. It’s the only way in which I can connect with others without disconnecting from certain parts of myself, or getting overwhelmed. Yet I find it hard to back myself up and stick to this way of relating most of the time. With certain people, in certain settings, I can totally do this and it is like a soothing balm to my soul. But I keep finding myself caught in the standard social rules, doing what I believe is expected of me, and betraying what I truly need. I am getting a bit frustrated by this habit.

As I delved a bit deeper into the reason why I can’t just choose how I relate to people, I made two interesting discoveries:

1. Part of me believes that I won’t be loved if I honour what I truly need. There was a lot of grief when connecting to this part that constantly betrays herself in order to be accepted.

2. I am going against the social conditioning of how social interactions ought to be. If I relate in the way I really want to, I would be doing things that are frowned upon by most people: not reply to certain questions, not listen to others sometimes, take an extremely long time to reply… Of course, those who love me know that if I don’t reply, it’s because answering would be taking me away from my connected centre. The same when I can’t listen or I take a long time to answer. But, otherwise, to go against what most people consider “polite” or “respectful” is extremely difficult. This insight brought a lot of compassion to my difficulties in this area.

So now I’m going to be very gentle, because it is not easy to change social conditioning, and this part that wants to be loved is very sensitive. Maybe the easiest would be to tackle this issue in ever broadening circles: to start with those closest to me, and expand to less intimate connections. To talk to them, to mention my needs, to explain how I can meet them… We’ll see how I manage.

If you resonate, join me in my next Relational Meditation Workshop or Taster and have a feel for what I am talking about. Here are the links:

– Taster: https://fb.me/e/xT9SqRXi
– Workshop: https://fb.me/e/138lvkEIg

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