Incongruence and incompatibility are different. We don’t have to be the same to be compatible. Often, our different strengths and interests can complement each other. We appreciate the other’s abilities while being relied on for our own. We learn from each other, and we stretch each other’s understanding.
Incongruence can create challenges, but as long as we are honest about them and determine how best to approach them, we might not have an issue. We need to be aware of relational and spiritual incongruence. They will occur if we are in a relationship anyone for long. It can be a family or friend or even coworker. When the incongruence is noticed, we don’t use it to degrade or demean anyone. We don’t accuse, “Well, if you weren’t a _________!” or “I expect more from you as a ___________!” We approach the incongruency with humility and authenticity in an effort to share and grow. We don’t have to grow toward agreement. We can respect the incongruency and move forward together, but we need to communicate the expectations we have. We need to find a safe place to express ourselves and our concerns. And we need to give the process time. So often, when we face a difficulty in a relationship, we give a lot of weight to one conversation, usually an early one in the process of exploring and revealing what is happening, especially how we feel. We need to broaden our view. Sometimes it will confirm a point in time. Other times, it will lessen the weight of it.
When we’re in a relationship, the goal is to be healthy. We want to be truthful with ourselves and others. We want to establish and maintain healthy boundaries and encourage one another as we invite accountability. Commitment is a process. We’re going to have ups and downs. Let’s care enough for one another that we are willing to do the difficult work to explore the next best steps together.