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Successful relationships have less to do with what we have in common and more to do with how well we work through our differences.
When two or more people come together, conflicts are bound to arise; it’s natural. That’s what makes us human—we all think and feel differently. And these differences are meant to be celebrated because they spur growth. If everyone agreed on everything, there would be little progress in our world. The variety of our personalities is what makes our lives—and our relationships—so vivid and enjoyable.
But relationships and conflicts are like roses and thorns—like it or not, they are a package. Perhaps the only difference between roses and relationships is that the presence of thorns never stops us from appreciating the roses, while conflicts often make us lose focus from the beauty of our relationships.
For this month’s theme story, we have roped in someone who has been helping individuals, couples, and organisations develop better ways of handling conflict for over two decades. Alan Godwin, a practicing psychologist, tells us that for fulfilling relationships, the ability to resolve differences is more important than compatibility. Successful relationships have less to do with what we have in common and more to do with how well we work through our differences, he says. He goes on to explain the difference between good and bad conflicts. He also offers tips we can all find handy when dealing with unreasonable people, whose only goal in any conflict is rightness, not resolution.
Like all our cover stories, this one too needs to be read several times—till you have internalised some of the powerful perspectives the author shares. The real joy begins when you apply the wisdom offered and see tangible results. I invite you to think of the tips in this issue as manure for the flowers of your relationship. Don’t forget to share your stories with us, once they bloom.
Read the preview of the May 2012 cover story » The most powerful relationship advice ever!