Understanding improves Relationships

A major problem in the world today is MISUNDERSTANDING. It breaks homes. It damages partnerships. It even causes divorces. At the end of any war, the pundits will argue about who was the provoker and who the victim. But at the end of a war, it is not about who was right… but who is left! An eye for an eye will surely leave the whole world blind. The real problem therefore is in not having the WILL to UNDERSTAND.

Political debates on television amply demonstrate that people look at things from a very narrow perspective – theirs. Who then has time for fairness? The other overused option is the blame game.. But isn’t that an act of cowardice?

Closer home, 9 out of 10 problems occur because we feel that the other person is either not bothered about us… or is totally insensitive. My question to people who claim to be the victim of misunderstanding is this …

What did you do to resolve the issue?

Believe it or not, most people know more about what they DO NOT WANT… than WHAT they DO WANT.

The best way to resolve issues is to try and see things from the other persons viewpoint. But for that, we need to tell our own inner voice to stop talking. The best way to get the emotions under control, is to trivialize the situation. The easiest way to do this is to say to ourselves… SO WHAT?

Lets take a typical situation where you found out that someone spoke badly about you in your absence. The reflex action is to get upset, and say something rude about the person who has spoken ill of us. A better response… is to say … in your mind…

SO WHAT?

So what if they said it… ? Does it make me a bad person? Does their statement really change who you are?
So what if they have the wrong opinion? Is another person’s opinion of you going to change how your loved ones see you?
So what is the question that will get your emotions to stop running amok.

When you are comfortable again, then it is time for the next question …

WHAT IF….?

This question gets your brain back into play, since the heart has been quietened.
What if I really had a problem that I am not aware of?
What if… I give people the impression that they are speaking about behind my back?
What if I could find out exactly what I am doing wrong?
What if I could correct what I am doing? What if I could project myself better?
What if I could use this as a means to build a better personal brand?

Getting other people to speak, and listening to them intently … without ANY interruptions.. will go a long way towards helping us to understand others. Remember, each of us is different from everyone else. Even in a small family, there will be as many different viewpoints as there are people in that family.

Here are some key questions that will help us to understand others.

1. What exactly do you want… (from me… or the job…or the relationship) ?
2. What do you suggest that I could do?
3. Could you kindly share what you feel about this issue?
4. Can you tell me why you are so upset?
5. Is there anything I can do to help (the situation… the issue… ) ?
6. What is the best way forward?
7. Could you kindly share what you expect from this …(project… relationship… partnership…) ?
8. Can we think up another way to do this?
9. What would be our Plan B?
10. What is the best (worst) thing that can happen?

There are no right or wrong answers. There surely is a right attitude to handle any relationship issue. That attitude is called UNDERSTANDING. I wish you a ton of understanding … and happiness in all your relationships. Do let me know if I could help you … of I could help you understand yourself better…? You could do this by posting your views/queries on this blog.

Lets build a better world.

Ian Faria.

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