Understand first that I am not a Nietzsche fan but this statement holds much truth.
Yes, there are facts and they hold truth. But the problem comes as Nietzsche states in the interpretation of those facts.
- Are we talking about the same event?
In my counseling with couples I have discovered this problem of interpretation over and over again. The couple will both describe a situation or confrontation and both describe something is entirely different. To the degree where I often ask if “Are we talking about the same event?”
- Through their own lenses.
Each partner sees an event through their own lenses and from their own prejudiced view of things. There is where the problems start.
- Defend and Protect.
Most of us come into discussions and potential disagreements from a a defensive position. We are ready to defend and protect ourselves. It’s through these lens that we interpret the situation. We fall back on past confrontations, we only hear words that seem a threat and most times we never acknowledge what the other person’s point of view. We rarely come to an understanding of the other persons wants and needs.
So here a few quick ways of avoiding arguments and encouraging understanding.
- Listen, really listen before you make any kind of response.
- Ask for any clarification that you might need.
- Restate what you heard and ask for an agreement on the way the issue was stated.
- Take a few moments to understand and then respond.
- If you disagree and have a contrary opinion acknowledge their thoughts and begin your response with what you do agree on. Then make the case for your side.
- Stay cool, stay calm and be clear and precise in stating your case.
- The point is not to win.
The point is not to win. The point is to gain understanding and cooperation in your relationship. If you want to win then somebody has to be the loser. Your spouse should never be a loser.
Remember that everyone sees the situation from their viewpoint. They may not see things the way you do. That’s what attracted you to your spouse and why life can be so very interesting.
- Understand and avoid…
Understand your spouse’s interpretation and avoid needless confrontations and arguments.
Having trouble getting past the arguing and hassles with your spouse? Give me a call or write to:
Frank J Walker LMFT
1617 Main Street
Cambria, Ca. 93428
Frank’s books are available @