Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Where It Breaks Down

I am quickly learning that the majority of problems in relationships (of all kinds) result from one person assuming what the other person is thinking, OR assuming that he or she understands the problem before having bothered to listen.

Anger isn't rationale, that isn't disputed. But the feelings that led us to anger, may be rationale. The feelings that led us to feeling pain, may be rationale. Unfortunately, we sometimes confuse the rationality of the reaction with the rationality of the factors causing that reaction. This is where most men seem to write off women, and women's responses to feeling pain.

Unhelpful Phrases:
- "you are overreacting"
- "relax, you need to relax"
- "calm down"

Instead of focusing on soothing a person, we sometimes immediately initiate a counter-attack of excuses. But this approach is wrong, for several reasons. (1) If you have already hurt someone, and you can see they are in pain, that person doesn't want to hear your excuses for that behavior (2) a person in this state cannot understand an excuse, because all they feel is pain (3) it doesn't really matter why the person is hurt, it matters IN THE MOMENT that they are hurt, and that they are looking for caring words and not excuses.

The unfortunate result of these situations is that an argument is created when both parties aren't able to discuss the matter rationally, one being blinded by pain, and the other blinded by a defensive attitude.

But even when things have settled, and emotions have balanced, the next big problem occurs: one person assumes they already understand the problem before listening, OR they prematurely assert understanding after having feigned an open mind.


Renegade Eye said...

the next thing is guilt points; you did this, this, this and this, as well.

Anonymous said...

Matthew 12: 36-37
36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

This gives me peace when "feeling" hurts too much.

ella said...

THank you for your comments.

The passage seems to say that before entering heaven every man will have to explain those careless words spoken to others.

My post is getting at something different. My goal is to end the carelessness in specific situations so that my relationships may stay strong while I am on this earth.
Jesus was proactive, he wanted to change behaviors on earth, not just offer forgiveness to those entering heaven.

The passage could not give me peace, because my peace comes from seeing growth and positive change.

P.S. If you have a blogger account I would enjoy knowing who you are. That way I can read your blog as well!

Anonymous said...

I hear your point in all aspects and I agree that being pro-active is best. Sometimes there is no "pro-active" and the growth and positive change only come from within - I walk away knowing myself and vowing to be who I am. The passage is my way of finding peace in that moment when pain becomes unbearable and tears are not enough.

May all your relationships be filled with growth and positive change.

Kat of Kathmandu
No blog - just a surfer

ella said...


THanks for your reply. Perhaps you should get a blog! How did you find my blog? I don't have all that many readers b/c I have little time to post regularly.