Liquid Relations: The fragility of bonds

Who I am
Louise Hay

Author and references
We are a faithful reflection of our company. Whether we like it or not, the world around us influences our decisions, behaviors, our value system and even the emotions we feel. We cannot abstract ourselves from the society in which we live so that, in one way or another, the forms of relating that are established end up infecting us too. Whether we like it or not, we are children of our time. Polish philosopher and sociologist Zygmunt Bauman says that our age is characterized by "Liquid relations", very fragile bonds that we establish with the people around us. Liquid relationships can be seen in all spheres of life, both in the context of the couple and in friendship and in the family. The point they have in common is their fragility, which prevents them from lasting over time. As with water, these ephemeral bonds temporarily occupy a space in our life, but are drained as quickly as they entered our existence. These relationships disappear due to infidelity, conflict or under the pretext of the need for freedom. Liquid relationships are always "running out of steam". But they never disappear before having wet or even drowned the protagonists, who become shipwrecked in a well of solitude. Without a doubt, this is a very sad reality because, after all, it means that we are alone.

Why do liquid relationships develop?

Fragility has its roots in immediacy and the desire to meet needs without delay. Once we are satisfied, we simply turn to something else and throw away the item or person we got tired of. In reality, many fear the idea of ​​"forever", it is an expectation and a responsibility that they do not want to accept. This way of relating, according to Bauman, derives from "Liquid modernity". In practice, we must integrate and adapt to a society that changes very rapidly, so that a flexible and versatile identity is required of us that allows us to face these changes. As a result we have developed a "liquid identity", which Bauman compares to the volcanic crust. This identity, hardened on the outside, changes shape again when it merges. From the outside it seems stable, but inside the person experiences constant fragility and suffering.When society pushes us to constantly change and adapt to very different contexts, it prevents us from building strong and lasting relationships, relationships through which we connect with our essence beyond immediate needs. Of course, technology also plays its part and determines the pattern of relationships. Many young people, in the absence of strong and deep relationships, look for a substitute in the quantity, number of followers in social networks and the speed with which they spread their messages. They are young people who want to move and live light, without burdens on their shoulders, and for them this means not compromising themselves. Therefore, they are unable to establish solid bonds, but quickly change friends and partners, while gradually losing the bond with family as well.People who have liquid relationships have given up on planning their long-term life, they experience one very deep emotional uprooting. Society requires enormous flexibility, fragmentation and compartmentalisation of interests and affections. To be successful, they must be willing to change tactics and betray commitments and loyalty. This has spawned the idea that it is best to break up a relationship quickly because feelings can be addictive. The art of severing relationships must be cultivated before it is too late. Consequently, more than "relationships", "connections" are established. These people connect for a while with a partner or friend, but without delving into its essence and without compromising.

How to break the model of liquid relations?

It is difficult to be different in a liquid modernity. However, even if you cannot change the world, it is possible to change our environment and build relationships that last over time and that truly satisfy us.The first step to breaking the model of liquid relationships is to solidify our identity. It is not about becoming rigid people, but getting in touch with our deepest "I" to really understand what we want and what our needs are. Only when we know each other can we become authentic and connect with others from our essence. This will be visible and will help us build stronger relationships. The second step is to change perspective. It is not about how many partners or "friends" you have had, but about the quality of those relationships. Did these relationships really fill you, or did each one just help leave a huge void inside you? It is better to have a close circle of people who are truly willing to help you when necessary rather than knowing hundreds of people who consider you indispensable.The third and final step is to learn to compromise and take on, once and for all, than to get something we have to take risks and be willing to give something. Relationships are a balm in difficult times, but we must be willing to take care of the other person's wounds. In fact, remember that we don't have to worry about what we get, but what we give.
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