January 17, 2014
Hmmm…do I really?
We think we understand, yet often we’re talking at each other from two seemingly different planets. When I meet with couples I see them individually first, and then together. In our first ‘together’ session, I can almost always sincerely say, “Well, I’ve heard both your stories. They bear no resemblance to each other. And they’re both true”.
What does that mean? It reflects the reality that we see ourselves and each other through our own filters. So we’re never able to truly and completely understand anyone, including ourselves. And if we believe we understand, that’s when we’re going to stop trying to understand.
In The Republic Plato offered one of my favorite quotes of all time: “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”
So the next time someone says, “But you don’t understand”, or “you’ve hurt my feelings”, I’m going to believe them, rather than trying to talk them out of it, or explain to them why or how they’re wrong, or clarify for them what they’re not seeing. I’m going to try to reeeeally understand. And maybe I’ll learn something.