Psychology had introduced the term “nurture” decades ago but not many people truly understand the extent and the difference between nurture and nature. Your state of mind is not only dependant upon nature but the larger part of it is nurture. Due to this, you end up choosing your relationships according to the experiences you’ve had in your life or according to your state of mind.
Nurture and its impact on an individual’s state of mind
Nurture is a term that refers to anything that has a direct impact on human behavior. The way it is different from “nature” is that the latter focuses on the environment around us while nurture is what is fed to us.
Nurture starts from a very young age where children are taught the difference between good and bad. However, the child only learns that difference when they receive the consequences or rewards of doing something good or bad. Say, for example, your parent asks you not to steal money as it is a bad habit.
However, as you grow old you’ve only heard about it being a bad habit and have not faced the consequences of it yet if you were to do it. Upon stealing and getting caught you may be grounded or given a beating. After receiving the consequences, you end up deciding not to do it because it is a bad habit. This is “nurture” and nurturing.
Learning from one’s experience can have a huge impact on their state of mind. Children, as they grow up into being mature adults, have gone through many phases in life, like schooling, having a crush, graduating, your first relationship, and so on. Any event and experience is embedded into the mind and therefore affects one’s state of mind.
Nurture does not make humans perfect but it simply affects their behavior and state of mind. A human mind can be very complicated to understand as it learns faster than any other living thing. We tend to associate things with the experiences we have had in our life.
An example of this might be the refusal to ever buy a Toyota Corolla because you may have negative experiences associated with it like a prior accident. This can lead you to change your choice from a Toyota Corolla to a Honda Civic. In this case, your experience has led to you going for a Honda rather than a Toyota.
Just like the example mentioned above, you may be surprised to understand that your relationships are a reflection of your state of mind.
You “choose” your relationship is a big lie
Note that the sub-heading has the word choose in inverted commas. You may feel that you have control over who you choose to be in a relationship with. Technically, you’re not wrong. However, subconsciously, our minds are the ones deciding our relationships.
All our experiences in life become a concoction in the mind and therefore affects our state of mind. You may have heard the phrase “you can only love someone when you truly love yourself”. Many relationship gurus may tell you to focus on your well-being, your mind, and to love yourself more and more every day before committing to someone or before getting into a relationship. The reason being, you end up “choosing” someone that is not good.
Just like nurture, we end up letting our relationships define who we are. We look into others for confidence or love rather than looking into ourselves. Those that are not happy will be attracted to someone who has a cheerful nature seeking happiness, however, this ends up affecting both individuals. What if the person does not compliment your personality, what if you end up clashing with each other like most of the “broken” relationships?
When a relationship starts, everything is happy and positive due to all the hormones being released. No one notices each other’s annoying habits or negative traits. As time passes by in a relationship, both the individuals start to understand what ticks them about their partner. This happens once the hormones settle down.
Due to this, many people do not truly understand relationships in general, however, experts have been able to come to a consensus. Your relationships are a reflection of your state of mind. If your state of mind is unhealthy, the probability of being in an unhealthy relationship becomes very high.
Take an example of domestic abuse. In many developing countries women become subject to domestic abuse because they do not react to it. Being a silent spectator and bearing the brunt of a man is what they know from an early age.
The woman learns from her parents how her mother works hard at home and later when the man returns, how her mother can become an object. It is taken as a common thing for generations and nobody seems to break from this cycle.
Many women refuse to break this cycle because the belief that a man is the sole breadwinner is very strong in developing countries. Where will the woman go if she leaves the man, what will she do? This leads to an unhealthy relationship.
If the woman were to take a stand and remove all these “cultural” things deemed as appropriate from their mind, they will have a much healthier state of mind. With a healthy state of mind, they would want to disassociate themselves from negativity and slowly understand that the social abuse is unacceptable and therefore won’t let it happen next time.
As the experts say, love yourself
You can not solve problems in a relationship until you’ve won your internal battles. Many tend to seek happiness in people or objects and therefore have a wrong aim or a wrong state of mind. What many fail to realize is that it is temporary happiness and you’re truly happy when you’ve conquered all your internal demons.
Once you’re happy, you will be able to focus on your relationships and “choose” the one that complements your personality. If you’re finding that your relationship is rocky, don’t point fingers in the heat of the moment. Take a break and step into your comfort zone. Meditate. Think of why you’re in a relationship with that individual. It’ll help you understand the real problem for example maybe you’re in a relationship because you fear that you’ll be alone for the rest of your life if you don’t find someone.
Now that you’ve identified the problem, work on it. Whether you want to do this alone or with a therapist or a relationship counselor, the first step to a healthy relationship is having the right state of mind.