One aspect of the relationship dynamic I know for sure between John and Trishna, the main characters of “The Story,” is that they both have patience for the other. That may not sound like much, but I think it’s a fundamental component to relationships of any sort. You’re patient with me as I write meandries. I try to be as patient as I can with others. Within a relationship, especially, there are gives and takes.
Spoilers?: Minor [a conflict-free relationship?]
Does that mean their relationship will be conflict-free?
I don’t imagine that is exactly true. They will probably still argue over the things everyone argues about regardless of proximity. Acquaintances might tend to argue less than couples because of the amount of influence. If John has become acquainted with someone that ends up acting terribly, then it would be easy for him to distance himself from the influence of that relationship. If Trishna acts terribly over something, then the bad way to address it is to ignore it until he explodes, else the good way to address it is to wait until he has considered his and her perspectives before talking with her about his feelings.
The thing is, I don’t imagine either one acting terribly toward each other.
I’ve met people that either accidentally or purposefully will use harmful language. Whether out of malice or ignorance, the language is still terrible. There is nothing wrong with telling someone that a word they use is offensive to you. There is something wrong when you do not. Now, whether that’s a problem within your realm to fix – adjusting your attitude, for example – or outside your realm to fix, such as them needing to adjust their language, is where relationships of any sort can be tricky. A stranger or acquaintance may not care to change their language to avoid conflict whereas a person within closer relationship proximity… should. If they value the relationship.
Let’s consider the proximal points with Trishna as our example.
- Stranger – This is someone that Trishna does not know and does not have any concern over her, other than that she is a human being.
- Acquaintance – This is someone that Trishna might know from school, work, or anywhere, and might have more concern for her, but ultimately their relationship is more distant.
- Friend – This is someone that Trishna knows from anywhere and should have more concern for her, but there is still distance because of how the nature of friendships work.
- Family – Sammohini, Trishna’s older sister, is someone that intrinsically looks out for her but there is still the likelihood that they might fight or argue.
- Partner – John is the person that is the closest to Trishna’s inner psychology. The problem here is that when we have partners that don’t quite have our best interests in mind, either knowingly or accidentally, we run the risk of having terrible relationships.
OK, so with those formalities, how does this apply to the idea of efforts going out?
Let’s apply an example for Trishna. She was born with a spinal disability, as of yet unspecified, which makes mobility somewhat difficult for her in that she can still get around but needs to use a wheelchair for going out. It takes her longer to get ready to go places due to logistics and effort than someone without a spinal disability.
How would these five people empathize with her if she were late to a meeting?
- Stranger – The stranger could possibly empathize with her but might be just as likely to not. With numbers, there might be a 20% empathy and 80% apathy chance.
- Acquaintance – The acquaintance could be more empathetic if the delay was reasonable. Maybe 40% empathy and 60% apathy?
- Friend – The friend would be more empathetic, unless, the delay were severe or the occurrence frequent. Maybe 60% empathy and 40% apathy?
- Family – The problem with the close proximity we have to our family is that we often project our perspectives based on past experiences, so if Sammohini felt that Trishna was particularly lazy when she was a child, Sammohini might still consider this to be the case. Maybe 80% empathy, or more, and 20% apathy, or less?
- Partner – Here, too, we would ideally want the empathy to be at 100% when we enter into a relationship with someone that will be our partner. What, truly, is 100% other than exacting objective situations? Humans are subjective and we don’t often think with rationality as a primary objective.
This is where I would like to believe that John has more empathy than not.
Everything I’ve imagined over the years of brainstorming I’ve done, where random scenes from random parts of their lives, shows me that John highly empathizes with Trishna in almost every situation. The only time they might argue would be when Trishna acts too recklessly in a situation where she hurts herself. John might get mad, but not at her, more that he’s mad that she found herself hurt. I imagine that a source of conflict might be that he doesn’t express himself well enough to say that he’s not mad at her, rather he’s mad that the situation harmed her.
Something like this is different than intentionally harming someone in anger.
As I meander through life’s many relationships with the many people I’ve met over the years, I often wonder why I have conflicts and why I don’t with others. I am not a particularly abrasive person. I can have empathy with many different types of people in many different situations. However, I don’t extend my empathy to everyone in every situation. If the mistake is terrible enough, then it would only be through sufficient evidence that I could change my mind on a topic, and not a more immediate turn. I think more people are like me than they want to admit. I am just more vocal and immediate about it through years of practice and abuse from others. Others might just be more passive-aggressive in how they regard others.
John and Trishna, then, empathize significantly with each other.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: This became more formal than I thought, but the formality helped me better define and explore their relationship, so I’m happy with the result. Besides, if John had scheduled a date night with Trishna, he could see if she weren’t feeling well, whereas strangers don’t often see this perspective.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2020 October 04 [11:11111am to 11:49am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 October 04 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|