Harmony in relationships is priceless. Especially in relationships that matter to us – our close family, friends, colleagues. Many wonderful relationships get destroyed because we give importance to the stuff that should not matter with people who do. Like time, money, resources, success and failures, mistakes, morality, truth, principle etc.
All these things that 'matter' has a place in our lives but not above the people.
Ticking 'Time' bomb
Take TIME for instance. How many arguments happen between people in close relationships about time. If one person is made to wait for some time, more time is spent on arguing about how much time was wasted than what actually was 'wasted'. If one person is a stickler for the time he or she wants everyone to be so which is not easy as time flows at different speeds for each one of us. It is understandable to be on the dot if we are going to catch a flight or train. If we are stepping out for lunch or a function of just for a walk or a drive is it important that we should start on the precise time agreed. Will a few minutes this side or that make the heavens fall down? But I have seen arguments erupt as the person who is made to wait feels insulted and the next half an hour will spoil all the fun that was being planned. Time has its place but not at the cost of disharmony in relationships. When you are not doing some critical work we should learn to take it easy if the loved ones take a little longer to get ready or if they come a little late for the meeting. With people who matter, time shouldn't.
A failure is not a failed peson
FAILURES and MISTAKES are other areas. When someone important to us fails at something should we at that moment take it so seriously as to start lecturing them on how their preparations were not enough, how they are careless and casual, how they don't have long term consequences in mind etc? Believe me, no one likes failure. As it is the person who has failed at something is feeling miserable we don't have to pile on it by taking the higher ground. We look to our loved ones to pull us through our failures and mistakes not keep harping on them making them feel worse again and again. With people who matter failures and mistakes don't.
Fighting for a wrong cause
FAIRNESS and JUSTICE is something that comes up in relationships very fast. The moment we see our loved ones not being fair (to someone else, not us), we immediately don the robes of the judge and give our judgement of why Truth, Fairness, Justice, Principle etc are important. Does it enhance the relationship for you? Does giving such lectures at the emotionally critical moment strengthen the relationship. Is there a time later when it can be discussed. At that moment taking the side of the loved ones is important, isn't it?
Loyalty in public
That brings me to another area of third party relationships. If there is an episode involving a third party, an outsider, we tend to see the event more from the third party's viewpoint than our loved one's viewpoint. If our loved ones have picked an argument with say a waiter, a cab driver, the maidservant etc, we have a tendency of empathizing with the THIRD PARTY rather than with our loved ones and this to no end irritate our loved ones and we cannot understand how when we are speaking the great truth, they can get offended. In close relationships, the third party is not important. The Waiter, Cab Drive or the Servant is not going to honour you with a medal for taking their sides. Most often you may not even see the third party again ever in your life. What are you fighting on their behalf for? In Relationships that matter, LOYALTY especially in public matters a lot.
Relationship above all else
When we value a relationship putting the relationship above all else is what matters. Money, Tastes in food, music, books, movies, their hobbies and past times, their political views or Religious inclination and more such things don't really matter. For having great and harmonious relationships it is okay not to raise some topics, it is okay to shove some things under the carpet, it is okay to let things go. In relationships that matter there are many things that don't and when we realize that we greatly improve the quality of our relationships.