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On Misunderstandings

Do you think misunderstandings in relationships are inevitable? How do you handle them?

Here's what happens in a misunderstanding:

I think misunderstandings are inevitable.

This is my theory of misunderstandings and what to do about them.

Here's what I think is a fair way to handle it. Apply the Golden Rule. Does it feel the same when you're on the other side? I think so.

But if you'd rather focus on the part where your friend learns what you were thinking and you get to teach your friend a lesson, and you want to skip the part where you learn what they were thinking and trying to say and where you assimilate a lesson, too, yourself, about how to understand them, then, nothing personal, but that seems out of balance. To me it seems selfish, domineering, and disrespectful, and injures the relationship. You have to root out the mistrust by honestly and respectfully engaging with your friend's real intention, by letting that really count, because that is what they really meant. If you insist on staying on your own side, you're just burning down the bridge of connection between you and your friend.

Think about it. Just a thought.


Copyright © 2000-2004, Thomas C. Veatch. All rights reserved.
Modified: April 3, 2004