For anyone who doesn’t know this, my sister Gillian & I are the co-founders of Global Glue Project.
Yes, we are in fact, siblings. Related by blood. People react to this information in a variety of ways:
“Oooo… that’s so sweet! You work with your sister. I could never do it, but that’s awesome!”
“Wow, man. That’s amazing. I wish I could work with my family that way, but I think we’d kill each other.”
“Really? Your sister?! How is that possible? I haven’t even spoken to my sister in years.”
Truth be told, just like many couples admit, the relationship between my sister and I has run the gamut from amazingly supportive and loving to downright dysfunctional and angry. And, just like many couples have shared with us, there have been a few turning points that have helped us stay more loving and less angry.
Recently, when I was confronted with anger and frustration when speaking with my sister, I was reminded of an important relationship breakthrough we had some time ago. I realized that the breakthrough was exactly laid out by Glue couple LAURIE & WILL in their “Relationship First” chapter. Will says, “You can’t win a relationship, if I’m trying to be the winner and make her the loser, we’re dead.”
Looking back to our college and post-grad years, my sister and I would fight literally every time we saw each other. We lived in different cities, went to different colleges, so we when we came home for the holidays or met up for family get-togethers or vacations or whatever, we’d always end up in the same patterns.
The stupid thing was, we’d always be genuinely excited to see each other, ready to do fun things together. But inevitably, within a day or two, we’d always find ourselves in a blood-boiling fight. We just didn’t know how to fend off the patterns. And I just accepted our fighting because, “that’s what brothers and sisters do.”
One day, when I was being defensive about something she was pointing out about me, reacting the same way I always would- with my defensive campaign, explaining why I was right and she was wrong. But on this particular day, she said, “Why can’t you just say “I’m sorry” and leave it at that?”
At that moment, the universe unfolded, the birds stopped chirping, and the tides held in pause. Every single cell in my body was surging, demanding the satisfaction of the adrenaline-filled fighting pattern. But somehow, I heard it. The wormhole in the universe was inviting me in – signaling me – to accept the challenge. And instead of doing what every cell in my body was BEGGING me to do- I said it. I said “I’m sorry.”
The tension literally melted away and my letting go of the fight shifted our relationship right then and there.
And I have my sister to thank. Because it was her ability to ask me that simple question that gave us a chance to change everything. All I needed to do is let go of my need to be right (easier said than done), and accept the invitation to stop the pattern and just end the argument with those two little words (“I’m sorry” and mean it).
Of course, there are (obviously) some differences between romantic relationships and familial ones, but many of the relationship principles are the same.
The point is the feelings we have in anger are POWERFUL. And every day, millions of couples around the world face these moments where they need to choose what door to walk through. Whether or not they can interrupt the pattern and create real change and growth in the relationship.
With a brother-relationship, we can’t get divorced. So, in a way, it’s easier for us to choose to work through it because we’re stuck with each other anyway. That’s why we, as a community, need to support and encourage the couples around us to stay with it. Encourage them to hang in there and choose the change instead of the fight.
That’s exactly the reason why we’re here: To help create a happier planet through healthier relationships. So please help us out with that by sharing this and other articles, spreading the message of Global Glue and the wisdom of the couples involved. And join our community for updates on when Glue cards will be available to send to couples that inspire you. Together, we can help to strengthen relationships and make the world a little happier.