Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Different—not right or wrong

Have you noticed that in some of your relationships, whether it be a friendship or whether with your significant other, you have differing levels of need? For example, one of you may have a high need for connection and the other, a relatively low need. You may have a low need for separateness and your friend or partner a high need for it.

We definitely are not all created equal—not when it comes to our wants and needs.

It's important to recognize that you and the other person are simply different in your level of need. One isn't right and one, wrong. There's no good or bad about it. There's simply difference.

It's helpful to recognize these differences and acknowledge them. Sometimes that's all that is needed. Other times, the differences may be so vast that it's important for you to talk about compromises that help you get over some tough spots. If the level of need is causing arguments and difficulties, you may want to do more than just acknowledge those differences. You will want to find ways to work it out so you each get some of your needs met.

Some people think the differences are gender-related, but they aren't always. Some people explain such differences away by saying women are from Venus and men, from Mars. But it isn't that simple. As much as one gender jokes about the qualities of the other gender, it's extremely important that we respect one another and the differences even while we listen deeply to the other to hear what's important to that person—and hear what that person needs and wants. Doing so shows that you value each other and that the relationship is important to you.

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