I’ve written in previous posts about what full connections are. These are relationships in your life in which you feel deeply understood, and the quality of these relationships is open, and the connection that you share is deep.
In my life, I’m nourished by these full relationships with people. Other kinds of relationships are not that meaningful for me; it’s more like going through the motions. When there’s a friend in my life with whom I don’t have a full connection, it’s more like that friendship is something to do or a kind of entertainment; and it may not be any more interesting or enjoyable for me to spend time with that person than it is to pursue my hobbies or special interests—the things that I enjoy doing by myself.
However, because I have relatively few full connections in my life, and they’re spread all across the world, I do believe it’s healthy to do things socially—even with people I’m not fully connected to, so that I have some human contact in my life and also so that I’m pushing myself to get out into the world more.
By its very nature, a full connection with a person is open; it’s honest; there is a deep sense of connection there. But due to this openness, it is essentially a boundary-less relationship. So it’s necessary for your relationship with that other person to be respectful. You feel no boundaries because you’re experiencing true intimacy. But, at the same time, to keep such a relationship healthy, the people involved need to respect each other’s boundaries.
To respect the other person’s boundaries, stay in your business as much as you can and don’t intrude on the other person—either practically in their day-to-day life or psychically by thinking about them too much. Psychic intrusion may involve simply thinking about them too often. But it may also involve obsessing over whether there’s a problem between you. You may find yourself thinking: “Do they like me? What’s going on? What went wrong?” In this kind of boundary-less relationship, you may sometimes feel that you can pick up on what the other person is thinking, or at least their mood towards you.
To keep relationships of this kind healthy, I have trained myself to block these thoughts when I realize that I’m thinking of someone too much. If in one of my full connections I find myself doing this, I visualise a closed door. To me the image or symbol of The Closed Door means: Stop thinking about this person so much and get on with other things; I need my space and they need theirs. This how I strive to maintain a respectful boundary on my side.
Thinking too much about someone you have a full connection with is going to drive you crazy and make you insecure about the relationship. Sometimes you may destroy the full connection with the other person by falling into this kind of thinking. The destruction of the relationship, although it may appear to come out of nowhere, may originate in your thoughts’ invading that other person. By thinking about them too much and obsessing about them, you can push that person away; you can give them reason to disappear.
I’ve also experienced that, even if you’re not invading the other person in your thoughts, and you’ve kept open and honest towards them, a shift can happen in the other person. And when that shift happens in the other person, it will show up in their changing behaviour on you, becoming more cold or more distant. And you won’t know what’s happened, but suddenly that person has disappeared on you.
Of course, people get busy in their lives sometimes; they’re not always available to speak to you and be there for you. And I respect that. I respect the freedom of other people to come and go, because life is busy sometimes and we have our own things going on. But this change in a full connection is more of a shift: it’s a known shift, and you have a clear sense that something has changed in that relationship. The shift feels like a permanent pulling away.
In my experience, sometimes the change in the other person is their manipulative behaviour. In a full connection, if the other person turns away from you and changes on you, it may be because you’re not doing something they want you to do. Or you may be having some thoughts about your own life that they don’t agree with. So they turn away from you. You sense a change, and the purpose of the change is to manipulate you. They can’t accept you the way you are, and they want to force a change out of you.
When I observe this kind of manipulation happening, I nip it in the bud as soon as I become aware. It’s not possible to have full, healthy connections with people if there’s subtle or overt manipulation involved—this kind of pulling away and turning on a person because they’re not doing something you want. And because full-connection relationships are so open and boundary-less, I do clearly want to state that it’s not healthy to stay in this kind of relationship when the other person is manipulating you. You shouldn’t leave yourself open to manipulation out of hunger for full connections.
So in my life, when I notice a change, if I detect a manipulation, I take a huge step back. If I think the person needs an explanation from me, then I will explain my step back. But in some cases, I know that the other person understands why I’ve stepped back, so there’s no need to communicate it.
Ultimately, it doesn’t have to end up with cutting the other person out of your life. I don’t advise cutting people out of your life if you do so from a place of bitterness and anger. But it’s a different matter if you detect a manipulation there, and that’s just not something you want in your life. You’re not bitter on the person. You’re not bitter with the person; you’re not trying to get back at them or anything. But once you see the manipulation, you just know for yourself that you no longer want to have a close relationship with that person. If this is the case, I don’t think that person needs a direct explanation of what you’ve decided to do.
Full connections with people have to be built on the basis of complete respect. If the complete respect is not there, and instead there’s manipulation, then it’s time for us to step back from that connection and close the door.
Keep in mind the importance of The Closed Door. It doesn’t mean we have to isolate ourselves in The Cave forever, not doing anything else. But we should carefully mark the difference between relationships that are healthy for us (the ones that we should cultivate) and the ones where it’s time to let go.
NOTE: This post was not about any of my readers or subscribers so don’t worry I am not talking about any of you and nor am I talking about my boyfriend.