I received a moving email from Esther Perel this week, reflecting on the many and varied ways that relationships have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. She included an exercise I found so useful that I wanted to share it. Drawing on Robert Johnson’s Polarity Management Grid, Esther suggests the following:.
If you are having disputes at home that are difficult to navigate, this exercise may well help. Finding advocacy for positions other than your own can be hard, but it can also be extremely helpful. It may be that neither position is the one you end up with, but the process may well help you come up with alternative ideas that incorporate the best of both, or that you find a softer, more respectful way of being with your differences that helps you navigate more gracefully.
Relationships are not always easy, and just now so many of our usual ways of being have been disturbed. We are finding new ways to relate, new normals, and that takes energy and work. The rewards however, can be long lasting and deep.