Know - Self

Why isolating yourself is never a good idea: when you want to improve your relationships.

isolating-never-good-idea-want-improve-relationships

Loners who care only for themselves spit on the common good. (Proverbs 18:1). Message

HE WHO willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment. (Proverbs 18:1). AMPL

Have you ever had a moment where you worked out in your head all the things you wanted to say to a person, and when you finally get the opportunity it works out quite differently?

“The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 16:1) NKJV.

When it comes to relational hurt and offences, there is no way to improve or restore a relationship in isolation. “We need some space, to work it out” It is not going to happen! You cannot work it out in isolation, by definition, you are not together to work it out!

For our relationship with God to mature and become stronger, we need periods of isolation, solitude, and separation.  But not when it comes to our relationships.

Some people isolate themselves and begin to feel much better; they may even believe they have all the fruit of the spirit! But the fruit of the Spirit works best, when in stressful situations! You never know whether you have His patience and long-suffering unless you’re in situations that demand it.  The fruit of the spirit, is not the fruits of man. It is a supernatural ability to display godly character in the most challenging circumstances.

The drive to isolate is often motivated by fear, or feeling paralysed, powerless or ineffective. In times of isolation, we believe we will get perspective, and certainty about our commitment, love toward someone. The truth is this certainty comes through dialogue.

It is our ineffective communication that is more likely the biggest problem, and now we choose to communicate even less!  The only communication that works is where there is mutual empathy. When we feel and understand the other person, we gain understanding and compassion. You do not get empathy through isolation, silent treatment, and keeping to yourself.

No communication leads to presumption.

The other person does not know what you really are thinking, feeling or experiencing. So, in your absence, they build their presumptions and preconceived notion of the truth.  You can only fix miscommunication and error through engaging more.  Even fighting and arguing, as long as you keep on talking, explaining, until you reach empathy. You need to have a moment, to tell it as it is. Clear up, what you mean.

“When losing the argument, do not raise your voice, improve your argument.”

What we need is not isolation, we need to learn to communicate more efficiently. When the other person is not getting it, they are not getting it! Try to explain it differently, use a different example or metaphor.

“Time away” only works when our relationship is healthy, then the distance actually improves the longing and affection. But when we are angry, and there are unresolved issues not communicated, distance actually makes it worse!  Our hearts yearn to explain, make it right, asks forgiveness yet when we get the opportunity to talk over the phone or text, it comes out all wrong, and things get worse.

There is NO Biblical justification for you to isolate yourself.

An English doctor built an experimental room where one can get away from everyone. But his experiments showed that isolation produces misery instead of ecstasy. Dr. S. Smith’s quiet place was a 9’ x 9’ x 7½’ soundproof room suspended by nylon rope at the top of a large building. Each volunteer was equipped with padded fur gloves and heavy woolen socks to reduce the sensation of touch. Each was given translucent goggles over his eyes to eliminate patterned vision. Volunteers were observed through a one-way screen, but they could not see out. Meals were eaten inside the isolation box. After an hour or more, concentration was lost. Then came anxiety or feelings of panic. Many could not stand the aloneness for more than five hours. [1]

Social isolation is also commonly associated with people who commit suicide. Seeking isolation, when the best option is keep on engaging, is like someone who wants to get drunk, or high on drugs. You want to escape the painful reality. But it is the painful reality that offers growth, and possible change. When we continue to communicate until there is peace, and the issue is resolved, personal growth for both parties is immanent.

Sometimes we feel isolated because of something we have done, and people consciously or unconsciously have been averting us. Jesus wants to heal us, and restore us from periods of isolation. Like with the women who had an incurable illness and socio-religious isolation—she was a living “dead” person for 12 years. (Mark 5:25-34) She was willing to reach out and touch Jesus.  Reaching out to Jesus, is the only ‘safe’ thing to do.  We all have been let down, betrayed, hurt, by someone. But isolating oneself, is not the cure!  “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.”

Some may feel they want to isolate, because they stood up for what is right, and now they are rejected, scoffed and ridiculed. “Better is open rebuke Than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” Proverbs 27:5-6 You have actually been a true friend. Thus keep on engaging, you have done nothing wrong!

Some may want to isolate because of offence. Someone really possible unintendedly, hurt your feelings. 3 Take heed to yourselves. “If your brother sins against you, rebuke him” (Luke 17:2–3) No reason for isolation either: “You need to dig in, and talk it out” This is the hardest thing to do, but guess if more people begin to speak to their offenders, without resentment and anger, but calmly we can begin to break the circle of transgressional sin.  Many offenders are hurting people, hurting others.

Choose your friends wisely.

Lastly: We would have prevented much pain in the first place, if we selected the right people to spend most of our time with.

According to Moran Cerf, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University who has been studying decision-making for over a decade, the surest way to maximize happiness has nothing to do with experiences, material goods, or personal philosophy.  It’s all about who you decide to spend time with. [2]

So, choose your friends and people you spend time with wisely!

The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  (Proverbs 18:24)

He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

 

[1]  Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 753). Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

[2]  http://uk.businessinsider.com/neuroscientist-most-important-choice-in-life-2017-7

Jan Oosthuizen

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.