Clarifying Doubts Building Bonding Relationships.


One of the major contributors to conflicts and broken relationships are doubts. The word doubt is to have an uncertain feeling.

Whenever two individuals in a relationship, whether the relationship is long or recent were not to clarify their doubts towards each other, the relationship is vulnerable. My father often mentioned the habit of collecting “stamps” a habit in which we keep looking for reasons to validate our doubts about a person and even if the person that we are doubting were to act positively, we ignore it as our point of view is skewed towards condemning the person. Soon we loose objectivity in how we view the other person and the stamps that we collect stick so hard that it makes it very difficult for the relationship to function.

Yes, giving the benefit of the doubt to the other person is a good thing to do, but cultivating the mindset and the habit of clarifying the doubts will go a long way in building the relationship.

The timing, the tone, the choice of words, all are important, one has to practice asking questions, instead of making statements as if the doubt we have is a fact. Statements that accuse the other person will increase the likelihood of making him or her defensive which will increase the probability of conflict to escalate or the trust to falter.

If the trust is high, tension is low, and therefore the value of the relationship is high.

On occasions many of us are reluctant to clarify our doubts as some of us have a limiting belief that clarifying the doubt may reflect badly on us or we fear that the other person may become defensive.

An anecdote from Ramayana highlights the importance of clarifying doubts.

Bharat was very upset with Keikeyi, his mother who had insisted that Lord Rama be sent to exile for fourteen years. Bharat was so upset that he refused to address her as mother.

Lord Rama before leaving Ayodhya had given the responsibility to Bharat to administer the Kingdom, and rule in his stead. Bharat accepted the responsibility but had also made a vow that if Lord Rama were not to return within fourteen years, he will commit suicide.

Bharat was particular, that people don’t misunderstand his intentions, that he had no desire to be the King. He had placed Lord Rama’s footwear on the throne and he would sleep in the jungles at night not in the palace. He did all this to avoid any misunderstanding about his intentions.

When Lord Rama was returning from fourteen years of exile, he sent Hanuman ji ahead of the pack to meet Bharat, just to ensure that Bharat doesn’t become anxious and end up harming himself.

When Bharat and Lord Rama finally met each other, Bharat clarified his doubt. He asked Lord Rama,

“Brother, why did you send Hanuman ahead of the entourage, did you doubt that I may not give up the powers of being the administrator.”

Lord Rama clarified Bharat’s doubt.

Let us practice the habit of clarifying doubts and also be sensitive to our behaviors that may lead to unnecessary doubts in the minds of our family members, team members and at work and our stakeholders.

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