Doug Carter’s Video Blog Post
How Relationships Work
Transcription of Video:
How Relationships Work
Oftentimes somebody will come to me and they will ask me for help on their relationship with somebody else. So they will have some relationship and they’ve got some tussle going on, some mental or emotional thing that will go on.
One of the reasons why these types of upsets exist over time is because we think we’re right. So let me give you an example of what happens when you think you’re right, when you’re sure you’re right, when you’re certain you’re right.
Let’s just back up a little bit and see how we get convinced that we’re so right. Let’s say that there is an event that happens, a parade, an accident, whatever it is. Let’s say that there are a hundred observers and so everybody watches and hears and experiences what this event was and let’s say that a local newsperson comes along and they interview all 100 people.
The question is, “How many versions of that event will they get?” and the answer normally is at least a hundred. It actually might be like 105 or 110 because some of you might change your mind after you hear everybody else but it’s at least a hundred.
Now the critical part of this is does that mean that your version is the only version that got it absolutely perfectly correct. The answer is or an answer is probably not. Probably nobody got it perfectly correct. We just get an interpretation.
So something happens. We make up an interpretation about what we think occurred and we know from psychology that we’re constantly having to delete, generalize and distort information in order to handle all the stimulation that comes to us. So we do that. We make up an interpretation.
The challenge comes in that we fail to remember we made it up and we act as though that absolutely is the truth and it’s not. It’s just an opinion. Meanwhile everybody else has a similar experience themselves, where they make up their own interpretation. Then what happens is we’re so certain that we’re right that we project our interpretation into the world as though it is the truth and we make other people wrong because they’ve got a different opinion, which in reality, at least one form of reality, their opinion is just as valid as yours.
So the key to being able to make relationships work is being willing to be open to somebody else’s interpretation and if you lead by that example, it increases the odds that you will be able to have your interpretation also. But that’s the missing piece when it comes to having relationships work and if you have somebody in your life that you’ve been estranged from over a period of time, that you’ve realized that they don’t understand what you understand, they don’t believe what you believe, it my be helpful to realize something happens. We all make up interpretation about what we think happened. We fail to remember we’re making it up and we act as though that is the truth, when really it’s just an opinion.