The process of discovering the validity (for them) of the other person’s position can still leave grit in the relationship when their position is different from our own. Part of the human dynamic is a requirement to believe that our world view is the correct one – we need this to be able to function coherently. From there, it’s seductive to slide into believing that all other world views are wrong. Given the enormous diversity of different people in the world, we are creating lots of potential enemies unnecessarily.
Human activity benefits from diversity of perspective. The skills, values and personality of a drummer in a rock band are different from those of the guitarist. A personality suited to being a computer technologist is different from that of a good sales person. The psyche and drives of a marathon runner are completely different from those of a sprinter, even though they are both runners. None of these differences are right or wrong, they are just differences.
When we eliminate diversity, we tend to suffer. With the best of intentions, businesses strive to become internally aligned: but group-think and the absence of challenge from different perspectives are common causes of business failure. The greatest football teams consist of a blend of different skills, characters and dispositions (and that applies to most teams, in sports or elsewhere). And anyone who has had to sit through a drum solo at a rock concert has learned, through genuine suffering, that drumming is at its best in a diverse context.
We can’t all be drummers, and the world would be an odd place if we were. We might not be comfortable with the idiosyncratic mindsets that other people seem to have, but the key to transforming difficult relationships into positive ones is to seek to understand and respect those differences.