If you didn’t catch the PBS series called “This Emotional Life,” drop everything you’re doing this instant and either watch the trio of two-hour episodes on line or buy the DVD. It’s TV at its finest.
The first part of the series, called “Family, Friends and Lovers,” focuses on the significance of social connections. You’ll see real stories about real people, which explains why Brad and Angelina aren’t the stars. I was especially taken with the honesty of a FOF woman talking about her long-time relationship with her husband and with parents struggling with a young boy they adopted from a Russian orphanage.
I jotted down a few insights that touched my soul, so I could share them with my FOF friends.
Conflict: Don’t run away, suppress or smooth over a conflict. In certain circumstances, conflict can be a good thing. You can’t get to know another person without it. It helps you understand how another person functions in the world, where she’s coming from and her motivations. It is in the conflict that we capture different perspectives. Make conflict constructive.
Who Is Right and Who Is Wrong: There is no absolute truth. Your feeling is the truth to you. Recognize when another person’s needs conflict with your own. He sees the world in black and white and you see it in gray. If you’re myopically focused on trying to change your partner, it’s not productive.
Giving and Receiving: Sometimes it’s better to listen and be the receiver. You learn a lot more. Find a way of communicating that someone can hear.
Making Connections: We have big brains to allow us to cooperate with large numbers of unrelated people, but all of us have a hard time relating to the social world at times.
People Who Need People: The need for companionship is as important to survival as food and water. Without friendships, people suffer in ways we can’t understand.