Real tips for relating

Tips on relating for real rather than cyber-relating

Group of friends

Get over yourself

How you interpret what you read on facebook [“He must hate me. I’ll write back and show him!”] or decipher from someone’s use of social media, [“She’s spending too much time tweeting! She must not love me!”] is just you creating stories to justify feeling sorry for yourself.

You have no clue about anyone’s intention. If you are curious, you must ask, “What is your intention?” So, go ask! What goes on in your head is pure invention. Either just let the story go, or be curious!

Remember: Define yourself as a poor helpless victim, and you are one. If you do not like where you are right now, the only thing that will change this is you doing something differently. Start by being curious.

Get a life

The whole point of this article is to remind you to create a real life—to stop hiding behind a computer monitor, pretending that hiding is relating.

In other words, it’s all about showing up for your life. You are not here to be what your mommy wants you to be. You are not here to ‘follow in your father’s footsteps.’ You are here to carve out space that is yours alone. And that space can only be carved in the real world.

Get up. Go out. Make contact. Invite your partner to go with you.

Remember: Only you can be who you are, and the only time to be you is now. Leave the cyber-world behind on a regular basis.

Be honest about your experience

Honesty is letting others know what is up for you, in this moment. As such, honest dialogue is always “I” language. I cannot know anything about “you”– anything I say is a guess based upon my experience, and is therefore about me, not you.

Being honest means telling MY story—sharing what I’m saying in my head. If I am creating an issue with you, your facebook use, the time you spend on the computer, I need to tell you [using “I” language] not blame you [using “you” language.]

Remember: Honesty is about self-revelation. All I can tell you about is what I am aware of today. Honesty is about reporting what is going on for me, right now—here is what I am telling myself, here is what I am judging to be going on for me, and here is what I intend.

Be self-responsible

Self-responsibility brings our attention to the only thing under our control—ourselves and our actions.

Pick how you want to live your life, how you want to communicate, how you are going to use social media, and then, no matter what, do it.

Remember: Blaming and excuse-making are diversions—you pretend that your internal experience in not caused by you. We are self-responsible only when our actions match our words, and only insofar as we let everyone else off the hook for how we conduct our lives.

Don’t judge

Life is neutral, until you judge it. Life is just what’s happening, and what’s happening has no ‘true’ meaning. That’s why, when remembering a past shared event, we have different recollections.

What things mean is what they mean to you. If your meanings cause you to tighten down, stop talking, and hide, perhaps you might consider changing your meanings.

Remember: Always start with you. Decide what you want before you act. Then, evaluate your results, and change what isn’t working. Be honest about what you want, be curious about others’ intent, and hold life loosely.

Wayne Allen
A retired psychotherapist, and the author of 5 books, Wayne's approach to writing, life, and living comes from his love of Zen. He teaches living in the now, and taking full responsibility for "how everything goes." Wayne emphasizes wholeness, peace, and clarity of thought. His books, resources and other writings are available at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here