Family Skiing and Relationships in ‘Gridlock’


We are away skiing this MLK long weekend. It has been a milestone winter for us. For the first time, all of our children are independent and confident skiers. They can ski any trail with speed and surety.

It has been a blast. No more ski schools or dividing the family into a fast group and a slower group. We stay together the whole day and bomb down the trails.

While I was watching my children shoot down the trails, I heard them chatting, hooting and occasionally squabbling. It all reminded me of group dynamics. In any company, organization or family, there are roving and dynamic “collaborative alliances”.

One moment you may be friendly with a co-worker, and down the road, you may be rivals. One day you’re getting along with a sibling, and the next day, you’re both frustrated with each other. It happens in every human relationship it seems: marriages, co-workers, siblings, etc.

So, why does this happen? Why, over millions of years of development, are human relationships dynamic? Why do even the most strong relationships eventually reach “gridlock”? One school of thought is this: the gridlock forces each of us to evolve and grow. Tough issues create opportunities for maturity.

So, if you’re facing a really challenging issue with a spouse, co-worker, sibling or friend, don’t fret. By process of elimination, every human relationship eventually will hit a tough problem. Over time, you are able to resolve various topics, but eventually, there will be one major topic that you cannot easily resolve. You’re in gridlock. But, that’s natural.

It will be a crossroads for you: will you choose to run away or choose to grow? If the latter, I promise you that it will be painful but rewarding. People who persevere through gridlock often say afterwards that it was the best thing that happened to their relationship.

The gridlock is a midpoint in a relationship. After that, it only gets better.


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