Blog     Shells on the Life Shore     The Secret of Happiness

We are not difficult but we are different people.  Most of the disappointments in our life are because we are failing to develop and maintain our relationships.  Relationships demand nurturing attitude.   It is an established fact that the stronger the relationships we have, the happier the life we lead. Remember, there is no perfect relationship in life because nobody is perfect.  Human beings are not the creatures of logic but creatures of emotions.  We cannot be predictable.  This is what makes each person unique.

We are different because our personalities are different, our parenting is different,  our schooling is different, our environment during our formative years was different, we are culturally different, our beliefs are different, our habits are different.  So how can we behave in the same manner.  It cannot be.  The building material for the foundation of long-lasting relationship is helping attitude without expecting anything in return, not having likes and dislikes but an appreciation of differences and tolerance of mistakes.

When two different personalities come under the same roof – be it spouses, siblings, team members, colleagues, friends, there will be differences of opinion and conflicts are bound to  occur.  Adam Grant, a very famous writer and professor of business world  at Wharton University writes in his book – “Give and Take” that the people who offer their help selflessly and  unconditionally are able to develop a very strong social network which ultimately help them to develop very strong relationships and they are benefited personally and professionally throughout their lives.

Empirically and historically speaking it has been found that for thousands of years we survived on this planet  only because of the fact that we maintained strong ties and valued our relationships and stayed together in spite of the difficult situations we faced and differences we had.  Let us remember that there are not good or bad relationships, there are only mature and immature relationships.  The foundation of all the relationships is ACCEPTANCE and not the PERFECTION.

Here it would be pertinent to share learnings from porcupines.  It was a particularly disturbing and worrying time in porcupine land.  Unfortunately  their spiky quills made it uncomfortable and almost difficult to stay in close proximity so they decided to separate, stay away from each other to avoid the pain they were experiencing because of intense proximity.  But the idea did not work because staying separately was even more painful because of freezing temperature.  While they were together they were at least enjoying warmth they were deriving from each other which was undoubtedly necessary to save them from the severe cold and then slow death.

The learnings from this incident is that the best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people but when each individual learns to live with others despite differences. In relationships the distance should neither be too far that we cannot reach out to each other nor too close that it becomes suffocating and hinders the growth.

– S.P. Chauhan