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February 23

   Have I ever agonized over a question such as "why can't he/she understand how I feel?" Maybe I've had an argument with my SO, and found that the more I talk, the more frustrated I get. Or I thought I had explained something clearly to them, only to find out they later made a choice that left me thinking "I'd have been better off talking to the wall!"
   At such times, it may help me to look closely at whether I was really looking for their understanding, or obedience? If I'm lecturing my partner about how right my viewpoint is, for example, I give them the clear message that their viewpoint is "wrong", or "mistaken". Have I really listened carefully and thoughtfully to their point of view? Unless I truly have, it's hypocritical of me to expect them to listen to mine any better.
   If I played back my words, I might find that I'm not only expecting them to agree with my point of view, but also make choices I want because of it. Maybe in their mind, my SO may be thinking "once I understand you, it means I have to do what you want". No wonder they don't want to understand!

Just for Today
   Today I'll take some time to better understand how my SO feels, because doing so will help them understand me better too. I'll remind myself that our feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just "are". I'll also be careful that I don't place hidden expectations on them, by wanting them to do something once they understand me better.

Folks never understand the folks they hate.
- James Russell Lowell

@Copyright Bernd Hansen - Contents may be downloaded or copied for personal non-commercial use.