Is there a relationship so true and pure that there isn’t a conflict from time to time? Maybe. But it’s doubtful. No matter who is involved in the relationship a clash is sure to occur occasionally.
It could be a difference of opinion with your spouse, a friend, your children, a teacher or even your minister. Life is filled with opinion and not all those opinions are going to agree with yours.
That’s when you need to reach down deep and summon your TLC, or tender loving care. We’ve heard about TLC most of our lives and have expressed a need for it more than once. It might be good to add a U to TLC making it TLCU. The U is understanding.
One of the first steps in improving relationships is understanding the problem. Once you understand the problem or the underlying cause of the disagreement then you’re more likely to be generous with your TLC.
You may remember the movie that expounded the philosophy that love means never having to say you’re sorry. Others have said if you love someone you wouldn’t have hurt them in the first place.
No one is always totally right and no one is always totally wrong. Step back and view the problem through your friend’s eyes and heart. They probably feel as you do that they are right and you are wrong. When you take this perspective you grasp the situation from a different angle and broaden your ideas and ideals.
Remember, it must be about more than being right. Sure, it may be a matter of pride but if you truly respect the other person then just being right is not enough. You must respect your friend’s dignity and self-respect. They expect and deserve your empathy just as you deserve theirs.
Truly empathize with the other person with more than just words. It’s easy to say that you understand how they feel but if it’s only words you’re saying then you’re no closer to improving the relationship than you were. If there is something physically you can do then do it. If the argument is about something tangible bring it into play to show your sincerity.
Listen to what they have to say and communicate. Communicate in a positive and tender way without being accusatory. Even if you’re certain they’re wrong, don’t make them feel responsible. Keep it positive and happy. Let them explain the disagreement from their point of view. Remember, it’s about more than just being right if you value the relationship.
Show your appreciation and express forgiveness. To forgive another is to be forgiven. There is more to life than trivial matters. Learn to compromise. Forgiveness and compromise takes practice.
You may want to blame others, but examine yourself. Blame is often times a shared responsibility. Keep your expectations high. Expect to improve the relationship but be realistic. You may have to give more than you get. Giving TLC becomes easier with TLCU.