What your arguments with your lover have in common with one of the oldest conflicts in history, and why you may never resolve it.
In my recent blog on Why People Cheat the comment was made on Facebook that communication could essentially fix everything in relationship, and they might be right.
It could also solve the Middle East Crisis, probably have prevented both World Wars and most likely halt the obesity epidemic.
But it won’t. We are simply not speaking the same language.
This isn’t a Venus : Mars thing. This is so much more than that. It’s more like a completely clogged artery to your heart.
In Relating To Men, I wrote about how our version of the ‘truth’ is determined by what our filter system is. Essentially – your past stories and experiences, your values, ethics, religion, upbringing, past relationships, all play a part in determining how you hold a position on something.
However, if those historical stories and data you are holding onto are not 100% accurate they are most likely distorting the truth. Over time we view things as we remember them, not necessarily as they were. Have you ever heard two people relay a completely different version of the same event? If one experienced it through one filter and the other a different one, it’s not unreasonable to think they will have had different experiences of the same event.
Another conflict is that our filter system is often flawed. We hold onto things that are quite simply someone else’s truth. Things like accepted norms and social acceptance can be valuable in society, but sometimes it also serves us to question their relevance in our world. Or it might be a story you were told that you adopted as truth. You’re fat, lazy, don’t listen, a bad driver – whatever it is, it most likely is not the reality, but something about you that you’ve adopted.
Now how this ties in is that when we communicate with someone else, we are using those filters in determining what we see hear and experience. Sometimes it pays to dust them off so we can get a better picture. Here is a little story of something that happened to me not that long ago…..
I had a disagreement with someone I am very close to and I love, respect and admire.
We each had a differing version of events around something, and for a while I got entirely caught up in my own version of things. Communication wasn’t going to solve this. We tried writing our thoughts, it was just getting into more of a fight. Each of us were stuck in our position and neither was going to budge. However because he matters to me so greatly and I wanted to resolve it more than fight, I was forced to look internally and reflect on everything that surrounded this disagreement.
At the end of the day, I could have held onto my past beliefs – beliefs about myself, beliefs about what I thought was right and wrong, and beliefs around the whole scenario that caused this argument and if I had wanted to prove a point, I could argue every single thing.
But I chose not to. I chose love.
I chose to look at his point of view. I chose to look from where he stood. I chose to look into his heart and where he was coming from, and when I did I discovered my own reflection.
That might sound righteous or like some super power guru voodoo and maybe it was, but that’s also not the point. The thing is when I looked through the filter of my love for him, I saw exactly what I needed to see and the cold hard truth of that was that being right never mattered. What mattered was keeping the integrity of our relationship intact.
So you can choose to be right, you can choose to be hard done by, you can choose to be wronged – but they are all your choices.
Take some time to reflect on what filter you need to see things as they are, or how you want them to be. It’s most likely not the filter you are using now.
Originally posted on RelatingToMen.com