A Piece of Advice
How to overcome differences in my relationship?
As relationship experts have noted, contrasts between partners are sometimes seen in a relatively less favourable light compared to their similarities. I’d like to offer an alternative perspective: It’s good that you and your partner have differences. No two individuals are alike, and everyone has a unique combination of beliefs, preferences, values, lived experiences, knowledge, perspectives, identities, and ways of interacting with the world around them. The fact that you and you and your partner have differences means you’re two separate human beings and willing to be yourselves. So instead of trying to overcome differences, let’s explore a few ideas from relationship experts and research on how you and your partner can work with your differences.
- Exercise self-compassion: According to expertly work, there are three facets of self-compassion:
1) Talk to yourself with kindness and graciousness.
2) Be aware that when you’re having a rough time, missed a goal you set, or made an error, you’re not the only one – every person encounters these types of situations.
3) Observe your thoughts and feelings without becoming buried in them (i.e., spending too much time thinking about them) or dodging them (i.e., avoiding them).
On the surface, it might not seem like the way you treat yourself would be relevant to how you handle differences with your partner. Yet, there’s a link between how compassionate you are toward yourself and how well you manage disputes in your relationship.
- Be flexible in your viewpoint: It’s tempting to treat our outlook on life as a correct, accurate reflection of the way things are. However, this conceals the truth that there are many valid perspectives on the world. When addressing differences with your partner, allow space for both of your unique ways of thinking.
- Be honest and polite with your partner and try to take an inquisitive and receptive approach to what they have to say: When talking about your differences, be thoughtful in how you speak to and receive information from your partner. You can have a more fruitful conversation when you share your perspective in a considerate manner while exploring and understanding your partner’s point of view.
- Strive to work out your differences and challenges: The value of having two unique people in a relationship means you won’t always get everything you want, and that’s perfectly fine. Just because you and your partner are different doesn’t mean you can’t reach a mutual understanding. See if you can reach a compromise that works for both of you.
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