In the last post I equated the need/desire to be right or to win in your relationship, to boxers in a ring.
Maybe you saw yourself a bit in that scenario. Maybe you heard the whispers (or thunderous cries) of your Wise Voice saying, that’s me!
I know it’s easier said than done to step out of the ring, drop the gloves, and give up on the idea of winning and being right.
For some it can feel like giving up a sense of self, or conceding that the other person is better, or something that feels similarly diminishing.
Yes, you have to deal with your own inner workings around competition in a relationship. If that’s a struggle for you, then please get someone to help you figure it out and learn how to manage your anger and defensiveness better.
But, what you can do to make the process easier is to change from being a boxer to a detective.
Curiosity will get you a lot farther than below the belt punches.
What I know is that the one thing that all of us humans want (and you are human, right?), is to be heard. Why do you think we yell and get so angry in a conflict? – we think we are not being heard by the other person.
So – if you adopt the role of detective and simply seek to understand what your partner is saying, you will find things go much more smoothly.
Curiosity and understanding don’t mean agreement. You can disagree and still understand the other person’s point of view.
Staying in the place of curiosity entails one powerful question.
What’s that about?
If you can observe your partner with this question in mind, you will go a long way towards creating a win/ win, rather than a competitive win/lose. Your partner is more likely to listen to you when they feel heard and understood.
Give it a try. Take off your boxing gloves, put on your detective hat and let me know how it works.
Image credit: Graeme Weatherston / FreeDigitalPhotos.net