I was out walking with my dog recently and quickly sparked up a conversation with another dog owner. It occurred to me how easily we can engage with someone when there’s a clear mutual interest.
I’ve always felt that finding someone’s ‘diamond’ is the key to harmonious relationships. Of course it’s easy when we can openly find something of mutual interest to focus on, but a lot harder when it’s hidden or we’ve started off on the wrong foot.
I’m convinced, though, that everyone has common ground with another, no matter how deep it’s hidden. And if we take the time to find it and focus on it, it’s a sure-fire way of creating new relationships or mending those that have gone astray.
It’s really easy to write someone off because they’ve offended or annoyed us in one-way or another and in such a connected society, it’s even easier to see those differences and disregard the common ground. But hate and animosity, I find are bad bedfellows. So to help me sleep at night, I try my best to keep my anger short and my olive branches close.
We can never change how someone else feels about us, but if we smile and remain open to change – even if another isn’t – I find time will do the rest. Stay alert for what bonds us and try to disregard our differences. After all, some of the best friendships I have today started with animosity, because we often bond harder with someone after an argument than we do through just exchanging pleasantries.