Do you ever hear yourself say something, and think you sounded just like someone else? It may be a parent, partner, friend, child, anyone close really, even a character from television!
We are an amalgam of all of our life experiences, including all the people we have spent time with, in reality and even through media and the arts. We cannot not be influenced by others, we are relational beings. When we are in tune with another, mirror neurons are firing, we are able to empathise, We can feel what we see, hear and sense in the other, and this changes us.
We are not entirely separate. We exist in a web of relationships that hopefully enrich our lives and inform our way of being. Let’s be honest, sometimes relationships can drain and sadden us too, these ones equally influence who and how we are, just in different ways. Most relationships have a bit of both, nothing is one sided.
Accepting both ourselves and others as we are is crucial. Acceptance helps us to be ourselves while in relationship with others. When you know and like yourself you can more ably choose what you do and don’t take in, and you can be mindful of the way others shape and influence you, and you them.
To learn more about yourself in relationship, try psychotherapy.