Think about every unresolved argument you ever had and the dissatisfaction that followed it. There may be bitter feelings of shame, anger, or worry about your relationship with the person you conflicted with, but what probably prevails is the feeling of being unheard. Arguments stem from a difference of ideas that reached a boiling point. Each side defends their viewpoint vehemently and without backing down because it is theirs and it matters to them. The problem is summed up in an old Ukrainian proverb:
“You do not really see the world if you only look through your own window.”
To effectively resolve conflict and leave all parties satisfied, there must be a meeting of the minds – the ability to hold the differing perspectives and ideas in your mind while communicating effectively. We must take others’ viewpoints for what they are – a window into their private world. Without this insight into why others hold onto their beliefs and views, the arguer’s ability to understand the issue is incomplete. We are very much preconditioned to only see our viewpoints – after all, we spend our entire lives living inside of our thoughts. However, the lack of insight into the fact that others do the same and hold their own perspectives dear to them, will impact your social relationships. Let’s face it – whether at home, at work or in any other social situation – we thrive the most when we get along with others, can collaborate and have empathy. Learning to look through the others’ windows is the first step to them opening up to you.
Feature Image: Zoe, On Unsplash, Creative Commons