Skip to Navigation

Values are the key to healing disputes, and Christmas provides the opportunity. We may argue because of differences, but at a deeper level our shared values are a rich seam to be mined for warmth and comfort.

Differences and disagreements between family members are among the hazards of the so-called ‘festive season’. Christmas is, therefore, a time of great opportunity, for healing, hatchet-burying, growth and forgiveness.

Actually, forget forgiveness for now; it is a step too far at the beginning of this process, see No Shortcut to Forgiveness.

As I was saying… Opportunity. If you are one of the parties in a family rift or tension that needs healing (which, by definition, it does), now could be your moment.

Never mind the difference, feel the warmth

Every meaningful relationship generates warmth, but it is fragile, and can be easily extinguished. A disagreement might act like a draught, or a bucket of icy water; the warmth can be cooled over time, or suddenly doused. The result is the same however it comes about, and before you know it your relationship has caught a chill.

The remedy is to recognise the deep significance of personal values. These are the great leveller in that, whatever is going on between two people – however ‘different’ or unique each of you is – there is more that binds you than separates you.

Incidentally, this is true regardless of faith (or lack of it), creed or culture. Pick any human role or context you like, personal or professional, and when you bring two people with shared experience together – regardless of culture, language and all the rest – they can immediately unite (if they and others will allow it) in their common values.

Parents, fishermen, clerics, soldiers or shop assistants… human being even, there are shared traditions, experience, skill, ambitions which amount to a value-base which can be tapped into to provide a flow of warmth.

Common experience unites people in a way only common experience can. Even agreeing that you are in a dispute can be the start of a conversation about a shared experience, and a conversation is always better than an argument.


(I’m struggling a bit here because this post is telling me it wants to be an essay, and I’m telling myself it must be brief. I got my own way, and I hope I have conveyed an idea in a way that is useful).

One Response to “Change the Relationship, Not the Values”

What do you think? Share your thoughts...

Latest from the blog

Personal Calvary, and Chocolate

There are two types of people in the world, I’ve been told; those that can eat a bar of chocolate one piece at a time, and those who don’t even bother trying. The latter group have no brakes, and ‘sharing’ isn’t in their vocabulary (should that be vocadbury?*). There are two types when it comes […]

Continue reading

Brief Therapy for Depression

Not a team player, depression and anxiety, proven treatment for depression,

Most depressions can be cured or substantially alleviated yet we still pretend that they can’t. Hand-wringing and attempts at sympathy don’t help, enlightenment and common understanding will. Treatment guidelines are explicit, brief problem-solving talk-therapy is a proven treatment.
We should be accepting and treating depression as the common ailment it is, not shrouding it in mystery and pretending that we don’t know what to do about it.

Continue reading
FREE DOWNLOAD - Get it now.

How to be more Resilient

Get my super-helpful guide '9 Steps to Resilience' absolutely FREE, when you subscribe to my newsletter.

Understand the steps to resilience and you can develop the ability to cope with problems and setbacks with less stress and more confidence.
%d bloggers like this: