a reply to: sociolpath
Under "ordinary" circumstances (that is, when all parties involved are at least close to well adjusted in some way), there is no way to approach
relationships of any sort, no matter how shallow, or how deep, without risking being hurt.
It does not matter whether the relationship is as fleeting as the temporary connection one might have with a barista at a coffee shop, whom one must
trust to deliver ones coffee without stealing ones credit or debit card information, or whether one is dealing with a potential life mate. From random
people you meet once and never again, to friends, family, or lovers, relationships of every depth require a certain, varying degree of
Consumer or provider, customer or salesman, lover, brother, mother...
Human interaction is all about trust of varying degrees, and trust, as a byproduct of its function, leaves one open to assault. It is for this reason
that I fail to understand trite phrases like "you should never turn your back on your friends". If your friends are good, they are only people you
want to see your spine well enough to stick a knife in it. Choosing friends wisely keeps your spinal cord in one intact piece. Choosing them poorly
winds you up in Steven Hawkings local jogging circle.
But there is, of course, more to it than that. You see, relationships are hard, because trust is hard to earn, and it should be. But half the game is
making sure that you, yourself, are worthy of the trust others place in you. You also have to trust yourself well enough with the hearts of people you
care about, because if you do not, your fear of failing them may cause that very fate to unfold. Unless both parties trust one another well enough to
function the particulars of the relationship concerned, nothing positive can come of the association.
If you never risk anything, you never get anything in terms of relationships. Realistically speaking, that risk is not going to pay off every time,
or even most of the time, unless you have certain advantages. In a game of poker, for example, ones hand can be good or bad, and one must balance the
risk of playing or folding out, according to the value of ones cards.
Although people's minds do not work like a deck of cards unless they have a neurophysiological or neurochemical abnormality of some sort, the analogy
is apt in this case. Let me explain.
Some people are blessed from the off. Born with either the genes or the nurturing surroundings necessary to provide them with sensible priorities,
good instincts, and moral judgement. Some folk have to fight to gain those things, despite coming from backgrounds either denuded of love, money, or
both. Those who are dealt the better of these two hands, have to put a damned sight less effort into understanding their relationships, because the
writing describing each, is always on the wall, and is never inexplicably unreadable, or printed in a format which is incompatible with their
linguistic centre. However, those who are dealt the worst of these hands have to force themselves to see the writing on the wall, and some times that
writing will have come in the shape of a poorly printed Taiwanese translation of a South Korean original document, which itself was dictated by
someone's drunken uncle, and contains obscure references to elements of local culture.
Neither hand is a guaranteed winner though. It is only probability which changes. It is often said that where romantic love is concerned, all that is
needed is for two people whose psychological problems are compatible with one another, to meet under the right circumstances. I would say that of all
the random, fortune cookie nonsense one could possibly hear, that is the closest to being actually accurate.
However, a word of caution. If you let mere mathematical probability own your perception of risk and reward where relationships are concerned, and
you happen to have been dealt the bad hand, then you are going to damage yourself far more than you would, by opening up to someone.
Put another way, I have been burned quite badly, and by several people over the years, in various forms of relationships, from friendship to romantic
love, the lack of a father figure in my young life, despite having a father who was at least physically present, if not spiritually or emotionally.
However, having been burned does not make me shy, just wiser. I still take the risk with those I know I can trust and I will take the risk with
someone I do not know at some point in the future, probably not the long distant future either. New associations form daily for many people, folks in
urban areas particularly.
But there is no way to achieve anything without risking something. When the other option is loneliness, I say deal em, and let the chips fall where