Deepening relationships

Alienation haunts our modern existence. Our social lives filled with nothing but shallow encounters. We easily befriend but just as easily “move on”. While surrounded by so many people we never ever even come close to dunbar’s number considering our real relations we have with people. Everyone alone amongst the masses.

Consider how many people you call friends. Consider how many people you call family. Consider how many you call one of your tribe. Not so much ?

We keep running away from entering in real deep relationships. The kind that makes you feel at home.

So how to deepen our relationships? How to bind us together as a tribe? How to take a person and just deeply madly brazenly relate?

standing together.

take care

I think i might not have spoken very clearly.

I want to compile techniques, skills and ways to maintain and deepen actual relationships in this thread. Invisible Techs.

Theater and Improv games!

(I re-remembered the Dunbar’s Number/Intimacy gradient issue recently, and realized that the need to increase intimacy and trust in storyjamming directly corresponds to the need to create intimacy and trust in one’s family and friends! obvious I know, but thrilling. I love how everything folds into everything else in my life.)

What’s worked really well for my boyfriend and I is to take turns doing a process called “Voice Dialogue”. What this involves is to ask the other person if you can talk with different voices of their personality, both their “primary” selves (the protector, the pleaser, the ‘good son’, or whatever parts of the personality they use to ‘get along’) and also the parts of themselves that have been pushed into the shadows, the ‘disowned’ parts. Not surprisingly, the ‘wild’ voices have mostly been suppressed, the vulnerable parts, and also there are many non dual voices that can show up also, it’s quite an amazing experience. This helps with our relationship and healing of the splits within ourselves, and also greatly deepens our relationship with each other, much more understanding and acceptance of where behaviors and fear reactions originate from … and that sort of thing.

I think sharing our daily lives with one another deepens relationships more than just about anything. To me, this defines a community. I have a deeper relationship with my dogs than my whole family, because of the simple fact that my dogs and I live together.

I think the root (or one of them, anyway) of people’s estrangement and isolation from each other in modern society lies with the separation of everyone’s daily lives from everyone else (living separately), except for the nuclear family.

Gatherings involving food can cultivate a deeper bond between individuals and the group in general. When I waited tables I came to understand that many of the customers were hungry not only for food but for the social setting, to be fed and seen and to interact with others, even though it was heartlessly commercial, but it was perhaps their only opportunity to be part of a “feast” of sorts. It made me quite sad and I tried to be mindful of this need as I interacted with them, to feed this part of their experience. Ideally of course individuals would be part of a tribe gathering around the spoils of the hunt or some other reason to join together and feast. Those of us still living in civilization could start small with neighborhood potlucks or even just inviting friends over for a meal.

Yeah, sharing food is a huge aspect of meaningful relating with others. Similarly, sharing any important life experiences (feeling the pains and joys of life together) creates the opportunity for true connection. Particularly sharing things like births, deaths, rites of passage, ceremonies, etc. On a more subtle, everyday level, I think true connection occurs anytime people relate from the heart. I try for that whenever I can, but if the content of the communication is essentially meaningless (like most superficial interactions people have with strangers they encounter) then heart connection can’t really occur. Both the content and the context have to have meaning, I think.

I think “play” should be mentioned too. I know it’s sort of a buzzword these days, but I think often about this article:

“Play as the Foundation for Hunter-Gatherer Social Life”

I guess just doing fun, natural stuff (meaning without the interference of electronics, for example) would lead one to closer relationships. Anything wild humans would do together (eat, play, exercise, tell stories, what have you) should help bring people together. I hope to try all that myself ;D