What attracts us to others? Friends, co-workers, spouses and even random acquaintances? There is a magic formula of “enough sameness” to hit it off. By definition, we will never meet a perfect copy of ourselves and we often consider that our differences make a relationship interesting, enriching and long lived.
Same, same is fun and rewarding, until we hit the “different” area, the issues we do not agree on, where friction happens. One way to deal with this is to truly understand each other – for example, you can use personality tests such as Strengthsfinder and Keirsey Temperament Sorter.
I was privileged to trie this with a few close friends, and it opened up a whole new vocabulary for our relationships. Here is what happened – one of us in a group of three is a “break the rules” type person who never accepts rules at face value, if they don’t make sense they will be broken, no further discussion. The other lives by the letter of the law, if someone tells her “this is how we do things” she will stick with it. In most circumstances, this issue does not come up – but when it did, we had our first argument ever. Initially, we filed it away and pretended nothing was wrong but once we analyzed the one area we so clearly differed in our believes, it opened up an amazing discussion:
1st, understand that we are not the same & acknowledge that without judgement;
2nd be open to each other’s perspective, maybe we can learn and move closer to the midline on this topic, or as a minimum, be aware of what’s happening;
3rd agree to disagree – we do not have to come to a common view on everything.
4th make sure no one takes the blame or tries to fix things single handedly – it is what it is and we are okay with it.
If you love someone, why would you want to fight? If you love someone, can you embrace her with all her differences? Once we stop trying to fix others or push them to “get it” – relationships become amazingly simple – at work, at home and at the super market check out line.