Be Shameless, Be Brave

When I was active with my Clinical Hypnotherapy work, one particular scenario I repeatedly encountered with clients was centered around relationships. Every other client, well, even the therapist included (ha ha), had either trouble navigating or craved good relationships in their lives.

Should it even be surprising, though?

A study by Dr. Wendy Suzuki in her lab at NYU signals that the most significant factor for human happiness is good relationships. Similarly, in the much acclaimed and popular book “Ikigai,” Hector Garcia shares that good human relationships are one of the most important things for a long and happy life.

On the contrary, a lack of good relations can make one’s existence miserable. Some claim that the risk of terminal diseases such as cancer or heart ailments is amplified in people who have had problematic relationships carrying hurt, pain, anger, and/or regret.

If we are to strictly go by the data and theories espoused by modern-day science, then we understand that historically the species that could evolve and survive are the ones that could coalesce, adapt and integrate.

Do we not see it around us (and within) as well?

We seek belonging and community and strive to be part of groups—Curiously, often even at the cost of logic, righteousness, or even the well-being of some other human beings. Straying from an established community means facing ridicule, rejection, and expulsion.

Ask a (conscious) human in their thirties or so who’s still unmarried and potentially looking for a partner, their primary need is companionship. Gone is the long list of wants and desires for specific attributes; everyone needs someone to share their life with at that stage and age.

And isn’t life better when shared?



The first step to any progress is acceptance of where we are. I speak strictly on my behalf here— as an appearing extrovert who thought he had turned into an introvert but discovers he is just an ambivert.

No shame in admitting you seek good company, friends, companionship, and belonging. It is just that we are selective, and why not?

It does not have to come at the cost of a compromise of your integrity, your values, and your soul.

In my experience, most people are unwilling to be bravely shameless (vulnerable/honest) in admitting the need for company. To put it in other words, we are scared of vulnerability. While good relations are needed and proven to be healthy, there is an inherent risk.

Why not get a dog instead?

We have all been hurt, scarred, belittled, cheated, backstabbed, or worse, by people we trusted. Sadly, we may have never even experienced a positive template for relationships or even heard compelling evidence that positive, healthy relationships can be good for us.

It is curiously funny that I started writing this piece in February (’23). Then I went for my advanced yoga teacher’s training, where the Universe gave me a personalized experience of the subject. The training was intense, emotional, and overwhelming. Amidst all of that, I realized how much I missed the company of my friends from level one of the training, failed to connect as much as I would have ideally liked with my level two batch mates, and humbly realized why even ‘Batman needs Alfred.’ Life is always, always better when shared and in company.

Inner Creates The Outer

Hand planting a seed in soil

अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्र: करुण एव च ।

निर्ममो निरहङ्कार: समदु:खसुख: क्षमी ॥

Bhagavad Gita 12.13

In the above verse, Bhagavan Shri Krishna lists some qualities that make one endearing to the divine. The word “अद्वेष्टा” is significant, though, especially for our discussion. The beautiful Sanskrit word means non-enviousness. If we can carry just one attribute with us for the rest of our lives, let it be “अद्वेष्टा,” it can not only make one endearing to the divine but also fellow humans.

1. Have you noticed how easily the phrase ‘I’m jealous/jelly (or envious) of you’ has entered our vocabulary? Think of a time when you shared something nice with a friend, a co-worker, or an acquaintance. Even if they are well-meaning, let us assume, for the sake of it, is it the right emotion to express for someone’s gain or joy? 🙂

In my childhood and early teens, I was largely a no-body (much more than I am now anyway), shy, scared, and angry (those two go together), and not having many friends. As I started expressing more and talking to more people, the best blessing I received from Shri Krishna was non-enviousness. I also noticed how my parents never threw jibes on the richer and successful, like, “bade paise waale hain, pakka chori karke banaya hoga!” And the people who make such jibes inevitably remain destitute. I was taught we run our course, oblivious to others. Shri Krishna inspired me to cheer on other people’s success and support them as much as possible. The reason is another’s abundance never means I get less. The Universe is magical enough to cater to each person’s needs 🙂 If you ask me to name only one ingredient that is needed to create and sustain happy relationships is non-envy.

2. Boundaries are so important. No matter how intimate a relationship is, no matter how many years two people have known each other, if we fail to respect the other person’s boundaries, sooner or later, we’re sure to sour the equation. This doesn’t work one way, by the way.

3. Can you be trustworthy? Say someone shares something personal with you. Can you be trusted to keep it to yourself even if they forgot to remind you to not go and disperse it around? Silence can be and often is golden. 🙂 Share only with permission. Be trustworthy. This is especially a big deal when you’re part of a group. There might be a situation where two or more people within the group confide in you and often about the other people. Such are the times when the integrity of one’s character is tested. Do you treat their sharing as gossip to pass around and create fissures, or do you absorb it, hear them out, and gently suggest they speak directly to the person concerned?

4. Another deal maker is making another person feel safe in our presence. This also ties down with respect. Can we honor another one, not for the sake of extracting something from them in the near or far away future but just because they, too, like us, are a conscious expression of divine? Being non-judgemental and not demeaning another’s existence is a sure-shot way of attracting and keeping good relationships in our lives.

5. Appreciation, no, SINCERE appreciation extended to another is always a great way to forge a strong bond. It is wisely said, what we appreciate, appreciates. Sincere word is of utmost importance here. People ultimately will pick up vibes of insincerity or flattery. Unless, of course, they need therapy or have an inflated ego. Sincerity means appreciation without expecting a payback for it. Basically, no like for like, follow for follow back system 🙂

6. Finally, realizing no one owes us anything. Being humble enough and keeping the ego aside, we have to reflect that not everyone would want a connection with us. I’ll tell you why I mention humility and ego here. Another human being who has had their own personal journey with their own beliefs and experiences is not obliged to reciprocate with our feelings or intentions. I say this, especially within the ambit of romantic relationships. Don’t be so arrogant that a person you like has to like you back. Even if we do and act in the best possible manner, people may still not value it, and that’s completely alright. Good vibes will always attract the best people and situations should we choose a bit of patience. You do you and let go and let God 🙂

There is a lot we can discuss centered around human relationships. I will conclude with the above six, which, in my experience, have been fundamental to any good relationship I have observed or fortunately experienced. There may be a sequel to this write-up elaborating on the donts for and within relationships.

Here’s a reflection for you: What, according to you and your life experiences, have been the fundamentals of good relationships?

Thank you for reading until the end. As always, I look forward to hearing how you liked reading this. May your life be blessed with harmonious and uplifting human relationships.


One thought on “Be Shameless, Be Brave

  1. mukeshjainrns

    अद्वेष्टा- Thank you for such a nice blog post. The quality of Non enviousness is so important in dealing with good relationships and that is the binding force for any happy and sustainable relationship.


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