Only for boys – an interview with Anna Barauskas, the author of a book

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How to create a healthy and valuable relationship between two people?

The participants of trainings, workshops and courses on personal development, which I run in Chicago, are both women and men. The latter ones often do trainings because their goal is to build a relationship with a partner who unfortunately they can’t meet in their lives. In many cases it turns out their problem results from a childish understanding of love where a bachelor/single/divorcee believes that there are some perfect people, and a relationship is good only when it resembles an idyll without fights, misunderstandings or differences of personalities.

Such an idea about a relationship is a utopia, because there are no perfect people. Everyone has both strengths and weaknesses. A mature relationship starts with accepting that the other person is different and loving her or him with all bright and dark sides of their personalities.

So how to build a healthy relationship? First of all you shouldn’t confuse love with the state of falling in love when you idealize your partner. Infatuation is only a fascination, which unfortunately fades away quickly, revealing the true faces of lovers. It is like taking off masks, which were hiding tightly the normal human faces with their imperfections and changing moods. This is the moment of truth in which mature love can appear. Love which accepts the fact that being with another person is something more than a romantic intercourse in the moments of great passion. It is acknowledging the reality of this world and a mutual decision that from this moment we will face it together in everyday life. And the everyday life is nothing else than a mosaic made of nice and long hours of suffering. Life throws new challenges to us all the time. Mature partners face them together, and their reaction and behavior in those difficult moments define themselves best. These challenges also reveal the partners’ weaknesses and bring out power, and it’s all so that they got to know each other better. The situations in everyday life verify what kind of people we are.

However, nowadays when single people try to create relationships with other people, they often don’t give themselves a chance to come to this moment, because they quit the journey at the very first curve.

It also happens that we have unreal expectations from the other person. Men often say they look for a partner for their whole life, someone who will be with them until they die. But they lack determination, as most often they choose a girl based on those features which pass the quickest. And what is even worse – which disappear irrevocably. I am talking about the physical appearance, the youthful freshness, the beauty of Miss Universum. Sometimes when you hear from your friends about the criteria they apply in choosing their partner, you start thinking that a life of appearances and the omnipresent Photoshop has taken their reasons away. Showing firm and smooth women on the covers of magazines doesn’t mean this is the reality. There are also curves and roughness in life. Similarly, if there are 50-year-old actors smiling at us from the first pages of newspapers, who have faces of teenagers, this doesn’t mean that middle-aged people can always have a face smooth like a baby face. However, many people are taken in by cheap tricks and they live in illusion, not accepting the process of aging and passing. For that reasons millions of people wrestle with the passing time and they try with Botox, just like with a respirator, to keep the dying youth. These tries are pathetic, and besides they have an impact on the mental condition of the person who wants to keep the spring after … the spring.

And yet in the calendar of life it is exactly like in the astrological calendar. Whether anyone likes it or not, after the spring there is always the summer, and after the summer there is the autumn, which … leads to the winter! A man looks at a pretty chick and it will never cross his mind that in a few years she won’t look as amazing as she does now. Therefore, when choosing a partner it is worth thinking about what at the age of 60-70 years will make us decide to come to the end of our lives with a person still being beautiful, but beautiful inside. This kind of beauty doesn’t go away with the age.

Why did you choose the topic of partnership in your book entitled “The book for boys?”

It was because in my life or in trainings run by me I meet different people, and I come to a conclusion that people, fortunately not all of them, but most of them, choose their partners based on physical appearance and on what they possess or what makes them stand out among others.

It happens like this because we are a crowd of immature adults who live their life to show off, and for ourselves. When talking to different people about who would be a perfect partner for them, I most often hear that it should be someone “original and beyond the average”. The best would be if this person “had unusual interests” and “looked like a young god”, “drove a cool car”, “had a prestigious job”, “a penis like a cudgel” or “breast size D and the bottom that looks well during anal sex”. I listen to all these opinions, coming from seemingly grown up women and men, and I ask myself whether they pretend or maybe they really think that the attributes listed by them guarantee healthy, mature relations between two people. Such a childish idea about a perfect partner you can have when being a teenager, but not when the first wrinkles appear on your face, and some grey hair on your head. The surprise disappears when it turns out that this grey hair belongs to a person approaching his or her middle age, who grew up and still lives in a narcissistic society where the most important things are glitz and being fancy, where a partner, similarly to a car make or a tailor-made suit, has to match the job position or a lifestyle he/she has. Such tendencies should not surprise, especially when considering the fact that from the early years the care about a child’s emotional development is replaced with practical skills being instilled to ensure in the future the so called “board and lodging”, but also “prestige and position”. This phenomenon made me decide to write the book.

What in your opinion is the difference between a girl and a woman as well as a boy and a man?

To answer this question I would have to quote my whole book because it actually describes these differences. So to all those interested I recommend reading “The book for boys”, and here I will just point out that this split depends on the maturity degree, and not on the age.

How to love wisely?

You can only love wisely. If we do something unwisely, it surely is not love, although we use that word. Love is work, hard work – you build it …, create it. While infatuation is a chemical process that appears in our body and it is does not express our free will, love is the process that requires from us involvement and effort. When we talk about love between people, it is an acceptance of the other person the way he or she is and it is about being supportive in his or her development … and the other way round. This should work for both sides.

How to develop a child’s emotional sphere?

The parents often don’t pay big attention to developing a child’s emotional intelligence. They focus more on teaching it the need for achieving, conquering, possessing. They don’t work with children on their emotional side, showing this way that it is unimportant against material achievements and a race to get fashionable gadgets. This way a society is created of people who are emotionally immature, deprived of empathy, unable to express their feelings or to talk about them. And yet these are the features that constitute the foundation for building healthy relations and a partnership based on development, and not on a mutual dependency. Emotionally intelligent people don’t choose partners according to their “wealth statement” or a bra size, because they know something is more needed for a happy life together.

The book I’m working on now is about how to develop emotional intelligence in a child, and it is difficult to describe it in one sentence. Treating the topic a bit briefly I may just say that by teaching empathy to a child, by reacting properly to its moods and by calling your own emotions and at the same time becoming a role model in it to your son and daughter, by letting them think on their own and by teaching them responsibility for their own lives – we have a chance to introduce to the world a person with a self-esteem.

Where can we buy your book?

In Poland it is available in the Warsaw bookshops and on Allegro, and in Chicago – at the Quo Vadis bookshops and online at www.szkoleniawusa.com.

How is the book promotion going, who takes part in the meetings, what questions are asked by the readers?

A lot of media are involved in the book promotion. Articles about “The Book for boys” are released in various magazines, I am invited to radio stations. There have been a few author meetings in Chicago so far. I admit that the general number of participants has exceeded my expectations. And the readers ask about? They ask hundreds of questions, because the topic of women-men relations is one of the most important aspects in our lives.

Are you going to promote it also in Poland? Have you already agreed on the schedule of meetings with the readers?

In May the promotion starts in TVN and in the Polish press related to psychology and life coaching. We are going to start from that. If in Poland the book gets as much interest as in the USA – we will arrange the author’s meetings also by the Vistula River.

Have you met “this” man or are you still waiting for this meeting?

In the book there is a piece saying: “in order to build a healthy relation with a wise woman, you need to become a wise man first.” The fact that I have written the book doesn’t mean I feel a mature woman. I haven’t discovered America with this book, as the information included there is as old as the time since the appearance of first people on the Earth. Yet, … yet everyone has to discover that “America” on his own for himself, because this is what most people say – I know all of this, but I don’t use it. I also thought I knew a lot about relationships, and in fact (consciously and unconsciously) I copied the schemes I knew from the surroundings … and finally it ended up in a divorce. Probably, if it hadn’t been because of him, I would have never revised my own faults and would have not started working with myself. I just know one thing, if I hadn’t discovered “that America” on my own (though learning by own mistakes), I would have never started this work thinking naively that I was mature and would still be – a girl learning how to live … Actually, I wrote this book for me to remember what my own experiences taught me. But I hope that it might become an inspiration also to others who will begin to discover things that are in fact obvious, but not used commonly and thanks to this they will avoid frequent mistakes which – although America was discovered a long time ago – have been still copied by next Eves and next Adams.

Have I already met my Adam? Well, in order to do this I need to work with myself a bit more.

Has the fact of you having the NLP coach knowledge contributed to writing the book?

Yes, as I wrote earlier. My experiences have contributed to writing the book – also the professional ones, and if it hadn’t been for my writing skills, journalist work and the knowledge on NLP coaching – I surely would not have written the book called the by the Chicago press the editorial hit of the spring 2016.

Beata Sekuła

 

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