What is it in human nature that causes us to show the least regard to those we consider familiar?
Familiar – Familial – Family.
Most of us would never dare treat a person we just met with the disrespect many of us show towards family members; they’re just family though, it’s easy to say – it’s not that important to maintain relationships with family members because they’re always going to be there, always going to be your family…
Until they’re gone and all you have left is regret. They’re gone and all you can do is wish you didn’t take them for granted while they were here. They’re gone and you wonder why you didn’t show them a little more respect while you could; why you never told them how much you cared or how much they meant to you while they were still here with you, beside you, every day.
…Invariably we put on our best presentation to meet someone new, with the intention of laying down that scintillating first impression; then once that first impression has been delivered – however disingenuously – once our impression has been accepted and initial opinions have been formed, we seem to feel we no longer have need to impress thus we revert to our former, sometimes abrasive, often boorish, painfully apathetic, selves…
Appreciation is a tremendously basic, but in this modern world a very much overlooked or often a forgotten, emotion. Complacency is what takes over when appreciation is forgotten; once appreciation has been forgotten and a person’s lifestyle has fallen complacent, they will only ever become less able to appreciate hence be more likely to take for granted the lives, or particularly, the goodwill, of their familiars.
…Familiarity is a killer. It’s a destroyer of relationships and it’s an annihilator of the gentle spirits among us. Abuse – sometimes physical but mainly mental – is a common result of familiarity between loved ones; a spouse becomes overly familiar thus bored with their significant other and over time uses a dominating demeanour to assert their authority over the other, something they would never consider doing with a mere acquaintance or work colleague…
Even familiars have their limits though; no matter how close or strong a relationship, there is always a breaking point. Here’s another notable aspect of human nature: push someone hard enough, push them away enough times and quite simply, they won’t come back. The love that you might once have considered unconditional may just have revealed its conditions.
…The dominating counterpart will use manipulation and affront to keep the other beaten down, unable to generate the self-confidence to ever stand up for themselves or to fight back. That weaker of the two will lose self-worth to the point they can no longer see they are deserving of anything or, least of all, anyone, better.
It’s dangerous, it’s detrimental, it’s destructive, it’s downright devastating; it’s the effect of familiarity and if you allow it into your familial life, it will likely consume you too.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Tiki Foregrounded
Photography by Sal F Reece-Pact