How would you rate the quality of your relationships? In the survey for my book 97.5% of people said that their relationships could be improved. When asked how they wanted them to be better, most answered that they wanted to spend more time with those close to them and more authentic relationships.
Scratch the surface and you are likely to find that many of us don’t have the depth or quality of relationships that we long for. That was definitely true for me. Twenty years ago I realised that I wasn’t very good at relating and in the two decades since I have been discovering how to build stronger and more authentic relationships.
I am still learning and this blog is very much part of working it all out in practice. See here for my blog latest entry…
Why the Naked Hedgehog?
To me it symbolises what it means to have authentic relationships.
On a cold day a hedgehog will search out other hedgehogs to huddle up with to keep warm. But because of his prickly spines he is forced to make a choice. Get close, stay warm and get stabbed; or keep away, stay safe and freeze.
In 1851 German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer came up with the ‘Hedgehog’s Dilemma’ (I paraphrased it a little) to describe our human predicament. We long for strong and intimate relationships but we also fear getting hurt and do all we can to protect ourselves from others.
So what is the answer to ours and the hedgehog’s dilemma? I believe it is about ‘getting naked’.
That means taking off our prickles, letting down our defences and daring to bare who we are on the inside. It is about being ourselves and being known and loved for who we are. It is allowing others to be real with us. I’ve noticed certain characteristics in the more naked hedgehogs around me:
I won’t pretend that authentic relating is easy – it isn’t. It takes courage and also discernment to know whom we can trust. But I do know that investing in authentic relationships is one of the most rewarding adventures we can ever undertake. Read my latest blog entry here…