Relationships! The Tug of War

Posted by Dr. Patrice Smith

"It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others. ~ Sydney J. Harris

Ever wonder why relationships are ALWAYS so challenging?

Relationships are such a challenge because life often pulls us in opposite directions all at the same time. Imagine a game of tug of war. There are two teams, as there are in relationships. Once the game begins its a constant battle of pulling, tugging and taking. Each one wanting to be the winner. And so it is in relationships, pulling and taking to be the winner. It is a challenge because our personality feels the need to be unique and special and so our focus often lies on how we are different from others. It is our differences that hold the potential to create conflict. However, the challenge in relationships is to rise above our differences and personal preferences to discover how we and the other are the same.

Our overall need lies in balancing these two tendencies!

Remember, the purpose of relationships is not happiness, but transformation.


  1. Badixcai said...

    I agree that it is usually the differences that pose the conflicts but sometimes differences are also what makes each person even more attracted to each other. The major conflict in relationships on every level is what I call the I-factor the bigger it is the less chance of success and high rate of conflict, than to give and that is the nature of humans on a whole, some people do not understand the concept of us and considers I before we and even in deciphering their partner they deduce problems in the ream of I. In that they are unable to see a different point of view.
    the rule is Treat your partner like you would like to be treated but even so it comes back to how you treat yourself and what room there is for correction in dealing with someone who is never going to be 100% like you.

  2. Dr. Patrice Smith said...

    I agree with u, but while reading and re-reading your statement I realize you are saying exactly what I said - just in different (and more) words :)
    The "I-factor" occurs as a result of our differences. Because we have different view points and ideas and often times different realities we tend to decipher things differently and because of this, conflict arises. If we can let go of our differences - the "I" and focus on our similarities - the "we" only then can we find balance.

    ~ very nice addition, thank you.

  3. HalfCrazy said...

    I take issue with ur final statement. A bit!
    Are we then to relinquish happiness for transformation?

  4. Dr. Patrice Smith said...

    Some people go into relationships with the sole purpose of being happy, "I just want to be happy" - Whatever happiness means to that individual. What my statement simply means is that relationships are 2-sided, not one and in order to be happy in one you have to work and grow together, hence transform.

    Don't take my statement out of context :)

  5. Shawnte said...

    I totally agree! Nice blog, you have a new follower, come check me out.

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