I always, even as a little child, wanted to understand how relationships work best, and knew that there are more to it than what seemed on the surface. Wondering why people experience so much conflict, became a puzzle that fueled my passion to solve. After years of studies, personal experiences, and sharp observations of my clients, I have come to insightful and meaningful ways of grasping relationships and helping those who need guidance. I am thankful for the many shoulders I can stand on of researchers and theorists that went before me and influenced my search, understanding, and personal and professional relationship practice. I do believe that I can only preach what I practice myself in life.
The different perspective that I bring to couples, family, and all relationship challenges (even groups and cross-cultural relationships), is the extreme divides between people I experienced during my childhood during the Apartheid-era in South Africa. The pain of conflict inspired my passion and compassion for all who are at loggerheads. Whether the feuding is interpersonal, or family and group related, there are certain principles that are important to apply in the healing of conflict. These principles are healing to both individuals and groups.
The first of these principles is that one can learn to accept and understand oneself better, and heal one’s own unconscious wounds, by truly listening to what another person, or group, annoy or inflames within you. That thing that annoys you is possibly something you suppress in yourself. That very annoyance you feel, indicates a personal wound, fear or hurt that occurred somewhere in your personal or cultural history, which creates defense mechanisms. One easily tends to project or point the finger outside of oneself, when the wounds are triggered by anyone stirring those unconscious wounds. Only when this suppressed quality is acknowledged, can you negotiate the conflicting relationship with compassion. It is not a matter of being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but rather a matter of understanding with compassion where your hurt lies in oneself and how you defend yourself from it, as well as how the other party protects themselves from their pain in their behavior towards you and others.
We understand ourselves and others better when we have a comprehension of the parts of ourselves that partake in the union that composes our personality. I give workshops in teaching these parts and how they work inside us under the subject of Archetypes, but I do have a different opinion about what archetypes are and how to use them, especially where relationships are concerned. For more information on this subject, please visit my website.
Love is not enough, when it comes to what makes a personal relationship work. It is paramount to discern who you merge with in an intimate partnership, assuring that the person you want to spend your life with have the same values and adhere to the personality qualities that equals your own. This last fact assures a foundation on which the relationship flourishes. Of course, you do not have to be the same, but both people in an intimate relationship have to compliment and support each other’s qualities. The meaning of partnership is exactly that, that the parties involved are equal in their ability to support, grow, and contribute to whatever the union stands for. Too few people think of that and fall in love with beauty or money or fame, which is not sustainable in the long run. Values that you hold, which the other do not adhere to, can destroy a relationship, unless you know and accept this and are prepared to live like this in advance. People do not change unless they have the quality and the desire to do so. One can only expect growth through change, together, when the foundation of your partnership is based on the qualities and virtues of personality in the first place, which matches your deepest soul needs, and not on external circumstances alone.
There is not enough understanding or information on relationship building and choices in general. This lack of understanding allows people, especially young people to get involved in destructive relationships too soon in their lives. It takes time to learn who one is, and the best time to commit to an intimate longstanding relationship is in the third decade of one’s life, after one has lived and accumulated adventures and experiences that informs more of one’s true needs. Societal pressure on young people to get married and have children is harmful. Learn as much as you can about yourself first and heal your history while you encounter relationships without long-term commitments while you are young. When you are truly ready to enter a long-term commitment, you will be able to discern clearly who to be with in constructive healing and growing ways.
This short article is only touching the tip of the iceberg about the complex field of relationships. There is much to heal about our ancestral, personal family influences that affects our ability to relate well. And there are specific ways to communicate in concise and clear protocols that promote understanding which is not readily available to people. Please read more and connect with professionals who can support your own understanding and healing.
For more information about my own approach, be welcome to connect with me through my website or join a workshop: https://genian.net/
Jayni Bloch M.A. C.Psych.Assoc.
Kanata Psychotherapy Centre