Life is a balancing act. Meaningful engagement with work, family, friends, community, and ourselves can often be challenging given how we over-extend ourselves, underestimate how long things will take, and are continually presented with new requests and changing circumstances.

Life is also a balancing act when interacting with people whose positions differ from our own. We may wish to maintain an attitude that is friendly and supportive while we communicate ideas and beliefs that are important to us. In the adversarial realm, we understand that we’ll only get so far, and the project may be futile from the start. Sometimes we take this personally, but at least we know it’s the cost of doing business and, indeed, it is a business.

But in the context of friends, family and colleagues, the desire to connect and even persuade can lead to great distress when met with opposition, especially when that opposition is fierce. Deeply held values and beliefs appear to be disregarded, even mocked. For those among us interested in having satisfying relationships and collaborating in bringing about a better world (which probably is most of us), we can feel frustrated, disappointed, and at a loss.