You might think that perfect harmony is the defining characteristic of healthy relationships, but the truth is that human interactions are messy, complicated, and confusing. And according to renowned psychologist Ed Tronick and pediatrician Claudia Gold, that is not only OK, it is actually crucial to our social and emotional development. In The Power of Discord, they show how working through the inevitable dissonance of human connection is the path to better relationships with romantic partners, family, friends, and colleagues.
Dr. Tronick was one of the first researchers to show that babies are profoundly affected by their parents’ emotions and behavior via “The Still-Face Experiment.” His work, which brought about a foundational shift in our understanding of human development, shows that our highly evolved sense of self makes us separate, yet our survival depends on connection. And so we approximate, iteratively learning about one another’s desires and intentions, and gaining confidence in the process as we correct the mistakes and misunderstandings that arise.
Working through the volley of mismatch and repair in everyday life helps us form deep, lasting, trusting relationships, resilience in times of stress and trauma, and a solid sense of self in the world. Drawing on Dr. Tronick’s research and Dr. Gold’s clinical experience, The Power of Discord is a refreshing and original look at our ability to relate to others and to ourselves.