Careful Who You Talk To
Reality is created by consensus. Have you ever noticed that when you have a discussion or argument you are always referring, either in your imagination or verbally to other people and other conversations where you explored the topics of the current conversation? Sharing thoughts in a conversation is a game of verbally joining the dots, with each participant fleshing out the picture with their contribution. Our mistake is in believing that we are uncovering the truth of the topic, while in reality we are creating a new reality. A woman upset with her husband about the fact that she confronted him and he just clams up and withdraws for days. The friends proceed to share stories about how men are emotionally retarded, withholding and emotionally distant out of touch. The husband in this case is not present this trial and so cannot share understanding of the event, his true motives and intentions. His story is in fact that he is such a sensitive person that he does not show his feelings openly for fear of being more emotionally overwhelmed in a situation in which he feels out of control. He is an essentially a private person who feels very deeply, is very self critical and feels criticism very intensely. Because his wife believes that she is more emotionally in touch, she always takes the moral high ground in arguments and will dismiss and disqualify whatever he tries say in his own defence. She will go on to insist that her version of his inner life, his motives and intention are more valid than his experience of himself. This leads him to believe that it is pointless to try and say what is rally true for him. The friends offering support in this story, as we can learn from hearing the other side, rather than helping the wife are actually digging her deeper into the pit of helplessness and marital dissatisfaction. This is often what happens when one party in a relationship goes to individual therapy to discuss their partner. The same thing happens when wives make reasonable requests that husbands share with friends over a beer, only to be told how all woman are nagging money spending control freaks. In order to avoid this problem, it is useful to realise that if you are not getting the results that you want in a relationship the problem might well be you. It is a good start to look at your approach to the other person and think what effect it would have on you if you were spoken to the way you speak them. Consider what the effect would be on others if you took a more compassionate accepting of loving stance.