Cooperative Extension Service
In the News - February 2013
ALL HEART -- Cover of "Getting Our Hearts Right," a research-based curriculum launched by the U of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in 2013. (U of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture image)
LITTLE ROCK – The heart has long been a symbol, not only of romantic attachments, but also as the seat of the essential qualities that make us human. Now, professors with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture have studied that symbolic heart and what it means for strong, healthy relationships.
“Conflict is a universal human problem, and dealing with conflict effectively requires more than just gaining new knowledge or learning new skills,” said Wally Goddard, professor of Family Life for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
It requires us to get our hearts right as well, was the conclusion that Goddard and fellow professor of Family Life, James Marshall, reached after reviewing recent research.
The condition of our hearts is the center of “Getting our Hearts Right. Three Keys to Building Better Relationships,” a new curriculum being launched statewide by the Cooperative Extension Service this month.
Goddard and Marshall put into focus some of the reasons why people run into relationship-killing conflict with each other. They then offer research-based solutions for better managing those conflicts.
“Personal biases make it difficult to evaluate conflicts fairly,” Goddard said, adding “you have to be able to see your own biases in order to keep them from adding to the problem.”
Some of these biases are egocentrism, anger, blaming others, or unreliable memories. The solution to these biases, “is to get our hearts right,” Goddard said. The three keys are: humility, compassion, and positivity.
“We won’t be different all at once,” Marshall said. “We should expect that it will take a while to get our hearts right. … Little by little we can learn to be more open to other people – humble, more sensitive to pains – compassion, and more appreciative of their efforts – positive.”
To learn more about “Getting our Hearts Right,” and the other quality family life programs and resources available from the Cooperative Extension Service, contact your county extension office, or visit www.arfamilies.org.
The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
February 8, 2013
By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Extension Communications Specialist
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
University of Arkansas • Division of Agriculture