Accept the Differences, Embrace What You Have in Common

“Sugar and spice and all things nice…slugs and snails and puppy dogs’ tails” isn’t that how the rhyme goes? So which are you? The slugs and snails or the sugar and spice? Chances are, you’re a bit of both. Look, it’s true that men and women have differences. We would be fools if we didn’t accept and recognize that. But we’re not so different than we are separate species or from separate planets, as some would have us believe. We actually have more in common than we have different. If we embrace those things we have in common and accept what is different, we might get along a whole lot better instead of treating each other as if we were separate species.

A relationship is, if you like, a team made up of initially two people (later the team may get swamped by lots of junior team members) who both bring talents and skills and resources to the relationship. Every team needs different people with different qualities to achieve things and to make the project work. If you are both strong leaders, quick decision-makers, and impulsive hotheads, then who is going to see to the detail and finish off projects? Who is going to do the work instead of just generating the ideas? Never mind just accepting the differences see the benefits! Try to view differences in the light of them being special talent differences that could be used effectively to make your team function better.

And what of the things you have in common? Those can be great (shared views, shared tastes), but they don’t always make life simple (shared love of being right, shared need to be in control). If you are both genuine leaders, you might both be wrestling for the driver’s seat. Instead, agree to take turns leading. The things in common should be celebrated and used to Accept the Differences, Embrace What You Have in Common combination or alternately to really fire you both up and make the relationship special and successful.

Look, you’re in this together

whatever “this” is and you need to work together to make it successful. If you combine the talents you have in common, you will get a lot further and have an easier time of it than if you both pull in different directions. Strip away the layers, and we are all human, all frightened, all vulnerable, all trying to make some sort of sense out of our lives. If we focus on the differences and make a big deal out of them, we risk losing the input and contribution of somebody who can help to lighten our load and make the journey more fun. All those crass Internet jokes if a woman was a computer she would be this, and if a man was a car he’d be that really don’t help. Real-life isn’t like that.

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