There’s this good old saying that goes ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’
This old rule is to be applied to our life.
It is always about empathy. Empathy is putting ourselves in another person’s shoes. We should be able to see other’s perspective.
Relationships can be strengthened by empathy. It is a magic factor. When you try to understand the feeling of the others, you will automatically be connected.
When it comes to love, empathy is a strengthening aspect of a relationship. Understand your partner is the most important thing.
When something goes wrong, instead of getting angry, please take a minute and think about it. When you take time to do so, it will make you realise that getting angry is not worthy.
When a couple has empathy, they tend to close to each other. They could be open about their feelings and opinions.
This empathy rule works great in every relationship in the world. Because humans tend to experience similar emotions, people could be different, but emotions are the same.
It is easier for us to determine what a particular emotion feels like; thus, it makes it easier for us to understand the feelings of others. As human beings, we have similar sentiments, even though we don’t go through the same things in life.
We feel happy, sad, excited, angry, lonely and so on.
It’s a part of human nature.
But there could be some scenarios where we might not understand the emotions. This is where the rule might lead us astray. When it comes to intimate attachment, especially, we wouldn’t really understand what the other person might feel like.
When we talk about attachment, it is an emotion that clings us to something. It feels like we are tied together with a string. You will feel inseparable.
Here’s a deeper look at how attachment influences one’s relationship.
Attachment starts from when a person is born. A child will find an attachment to the mother; the child slowly embraces the world with the help of the mother. The baby seeks physical and emotional support from their mother. The children who are securely attached to their mothers tend to live a different life compared to the remaining percentage of children who are insecure and away from their mothers.
These children could be categories as
- Aviodantly attached children- Who learn that they cannot rely on the caregiver who is looking after them; therefore, they become self-sufficient.
- Anxiously attached children are those who find out that they would get attention if they are fussy.
The psychologist says that individuals are shaped by the attachments that they adopt during their childhood.
This influences their kind of relationships with their family, friends and their partners.
The influences turn the individuals into working models.
The first working model will be looking for individuals that can be trusted or not when it comes to support and need.
The second working model is a question to their self. It questions if themselves if they could get what they want and if they are worth about receiving support.
When two individuals decide to enter an intimate relationship, these working models will determine the way they will function in their relationship. The models guide them towards seeking and giving physical and emotional support.
If the models work according to this, then the empathy rule works well.
If the attachment styles don’t match, the couples will have a tough time maintaining a relationship.
In a recent article, ‘Current Opinion in Psychology’ psychologists Jeffry Simpson and Steven Rholes pointed out that the attachment behaviours don’t serve as a general-purpose guide to negotiate intimate interactions.
These are models that influence ways in which an individual copes up with their stress.
The good times don’t bring out any kind of these attachment behaviours. It comes out at a sad and stressful time, when there’s a conflict, or when they are mad at their partner about something.
There are two types of behaviours, according to Simpson and Rholes:
The first one is Avoidance; This is showing how comfortable a person could get with emotional intimacy.
Individuals who are high in avoidance tend to be less vulnerable. They find strength from their own self. When they are stressed, they will tend to spend time in solitude. This kind of people heals themselves by being alone.
The second one is called Anxiety: individuals worry about being unappreciated and abandoned by their partner. They are very much invested and involved in the relationship. Still, they are at a stage where they keep questioning their relationship, partner’s commitment because they have this feeling that they are not worthy of the relationship.
They have constant insecurities that keep popping in their heads.
You should understand that these are the dimensions of individuals. We can’t really categorise them, which mean that your partner can be both avoidant any or anxious and they could vary slightly.
Another important note is that these attachments are usually set in the first year of life, and they could gradually change as the individual starts having new relationships.
If an individual’s partner is avoidant and anxious, could make them tone down their insecurities.
This kind of nurturing will need a lot of insight and effort. A securely attached individual should work to make their spouse feel comfortable around them.
The anxious mate needs to be given more assurance than you would think. And then again you should give space and privacy to your anxious partner.
This kind of approach is called partner buffering. It is responding to your significant other according to their attachment style. It’s a way to relive your partner’s stress and anxiety. It is giving assurance and support.
We can conclude that intimate relationships are all about understanding the other, rendering support and meeting their needs.
But we use the golden rule here; it will mislead us. You can’t always give others what you would want them to deliver. You might need different things, and they might need different things too.
This is where you find out that you should give your significant other what they need, not what you need. When you can help them, they will be able to help you when you are in need. It’s mutual support. This is what relationship is all about.