There may have been times in life when we have experienced hurt or disappointment with our relationships. People who we regarded as friends or confidants may have let us down or not been there for us when we needed them. It can be tough to learn to trust again, but sometimes taking it a step at a time can allow the hurt to heal and then gradually start to let people back into our lives. We can start to let our barriers down a little as we rejoin the people and the company that we come into contact with.
Companionship is important as it teaches us about being less selfish. We have to become more open and receptive to accommodate the relationships. There may be times when we have to moderate our approach or compromise and negotiate and that is good. We learn to discuss matters and discover other’s viewpoints and this can enhance our outlook on life. Other people may teach us about what is acceptable in terms of behaviour, dress, attitudes or we may at least consider a shift in balance as we become more receptive to different opinions.
Many people appreciate that as we go through life we discover that there are several kinds of company. Not every relationship needs to be of major impact or have a huge significance for us. Whatever our gender or orientation it is often the case that we will have different people or groups of people who accommodate the various areas in our lives. We learn to appreciate that there is rarely one person who will provide everything for us and so we can enjoy what we share together without necessarily having to take it all too seriously.
Some people may be fun and social mates. They may enjoy trying new interests, places to go and are not interested in serious pastimes or conversations. Life with them is carefree and uncomplicated. They may not be interested in having deep and meaningful conversations or in sharing our problems. Life for them is light and fun and that can be absolutely the right thing for us to have in our lives on occasion. They are the breath of fresh air after a stressful day or week.
Others may be the people with whom we discuss our problems and issues with. They are good at giving advice and are happy to spend time pondering over our different worries and concerns. They enjoy more intense conversations and treat our concerns as serious and important. With them we can talk about business worries, relationship issues, stresses with the family.
We may go to the theatre with some friends and the gym with others. These people may motivate us to move out of our comfort zone and make an effort to participate in new things, meet new people. Oftentimes these different groups of people may never meet each other and that is fine because they have their specific roles and interests which suit us and them very well.
Work colleagues may be regarded as good friends at the time, but how often have we been close to someone, regarded them as an important friend and yet when they leave the business and then return for a visit several weeks later do we find that we have very little to say to each other. The common ground and shared bond has been eroded as they are no longer a part of that area of our life any more.
The different types of company we choose illustrate that no one person needs to satisfy all our different needs or requirements. These people may support our main relationship as they offer additional values and interests in our lives. We may be able to do things, pursue interests, have conversations that we would not have with our main partner. Or they may sustain us at times if we are single by giving us support and entertainment in the various areas of our lives. A bit like tapas or buffet food, we may select many dishes off the menu and they all combine to make a tasty, varied, satisfying meal.
By having different types of company we experience many qualities. We have to learn to trust people and share a little of ourselves at times. And we may have to support others sometimes. We may need on occasion to be tolerant and understanding or cope with them when they need input or advice. These are the times when we need to be unselfish and patient, but also learn that all these different relationships have important, valuable and specific roles that they play in our’s and their lives.
Susan Leigh is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who works with
– stressed individuals to promote confidence and self belief,
– couples in crisis to help improve communications and understanding
– with business clients to help support the health and motivation levels of individuals and teams