With all the talk about diversity and tolerance, you would think we’d all be better about this. But what is really true is that in relationships that matter, we often expect the other person to think the same way we do, and when don’t, we usually try to convince them they are wrong. The resulting “conversations” don’t typically go very well.
When we find that those we are close to seem to have a very different approach on how to handle a situation, try to take a deep breath, and instead of our usual attempts at persuasion, say: “I’m puzzled… I see it differently… will you tell me more about why you feel the way you do? I’d like to understand your thinking on this.” Then listen. Clarify. Don’t defend or criticize. You might learn new things, consider other options, and sometimes even agree to disagree. Trying to force others to our point of view rarely works. Even if they give in, they will be resentful for feeling unheard.
“Thank you for the most enriching time of my life!” – Linda T. VA
PAIRS workshops are offered throughout the year.
See www.PAIRSVirginia.com for details.