Sunday, March 1, 2009

No Mess: Make Differentness Work For You

I'm sure you've heard about the "mess." The media report about it daily: Obama inherited a mess, the stock market is a mess, global warming is a mess, I-15 commute is a mess, yada, yada, yada. It seems that everywhere one turns there is a "mess." Now people are using the term "mess" to describe their troubling relationships. All too often, an exasperated mom will heave a heavy sigh about her relationship with her son or daughter and lament, "Oh, what a mess." Viewing difficult relationships as a mess is faulty reasoning. The word "mess" connotes dirty or untidy---something that needs to be cleaned up or fixed. It is true that relationships need constant nourishment, but they are not dirty nor readily "fixed." Relationships are challenging and, if managed successfully, they are very rewarding. One way to manage your relationship is to embrace "differentness." Sameness is what brings people together, but it is differentness that creates interest and joy in our relationships. Rather than view the differentness in your relationship as a big "mess," meet your "differentness" as a natural consequence of two real people coming together to build closeness and trust. Put aside your fears and see how meeting differentness can work for you.