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A Balanced Life: "Perspective"



Most of us want others to see things from our perspective, 'to walk a mile in our shoes' - in fact, many are desperate for others to see things their way and will argue their perspective is 'right', until they are 'blue in the face' or until both parties walk away in frustration and anger. My experience suggests that this happens with couples, families, friends, colleagues and of course, politicians! Clearly this desperate need to have others agree with how we see things, gets in the way of effective communication and developing positive, balanced, relationships.

We need to be aware of this 'innate need' to be right - "Don't tell me I'm wrong, that's what happened!" Well, "that's what happened for you...what happened is a little (or a lot) different for me." I'm sure this kind of disagreement is very familiar to everyone.

How do we move beyond this 'need to be right'? By accepting that everyone's experience is going to be different - not right or wrong - and it is most helpful to 'pause' when that, 'you're wrong and I'm right' is triggered, and ask the other person to help you understand their experience of the specific context. Prepare yourself that their description of their experience will be different (avoid responding with something like "...are you insane!") Instead, try to respond with something like: "That's an interesting perspective...I can see how you had that experience (validation without agreement), so where do we go from here?" I suspect that this could be very helpful in our political world - validating the emotions and perspective of opponents, can help to quell dangerous emotions and expressions that can quickly lead to impasses, and war!

The issues of perspective and validation are critical to being able to move forward...to develop more healthy relationships. Accepting, validating and embracing difference are vital.



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