We often experience obstacles in our relationships because of a difference of opinion, different backgrounds, or different natures. These disparities can often seem like an enormous chasm between ourselves and others. Indeed, there are people who have even marketed messages about how large these differences are between men and women in particular.
What is very important to keep in mind, though, is that there are reasons why each person says certain words, does certain actions, and thinks certain thoughts. The behaviors that are imbalanced or even hurtful are likely coming from a source of pain within themselves.
What does this mean for our interactions with them? When we listen more, we become more familiar not just with what they're saying, doing, or thinking, but why. Someone may have said something hurtful to us, but it also might be at the end of an incredibly stressful day. If we listen more, we will learn why they are experiencing the imbalances that they are and then have a greater capacity to feel compassion toward them. And when we feel compassion rather than a need to retaliate, the connection will be based more on love than a less appealing emotion. This will strengthen the relationship as a result.