From birth, we are told implicitly and explicitly that there are "rules" to how we must conduct ourselves within our community.
But what are these rules? Can you sit down right now and make a list? Would your list be the same as that of someone living on the other side of the planet? On the other side of town? Even on the other side of your dining room table? The truth is, there are as many interpretations of relationship rules as there are individuals on Earth. Much human conflict is the result of inconsistent, unknown, or differing opinions about these rules.
If rules can't prevent conflict, what can? The simple answer is trust. We must trust ourselves to know what is important to us and ask for what we need in a relationship. We must trust others to respect our values and speak truthfully about their own. We must trust ourselves to evaluate when a relationship is balanced and to apply appropriate amounts of pressure when balance is missing. The convoluted rules we place on relationships often come from an inability to trust others, and much of that comes from a lack of trust in ourselves. So how do we go about rebuilding trust?
[For more on this story by Sara Sherman and Solange Hommel, go to http://www.brainerddispatch.co...relationships-matter]