My Perspective Your Perspective. No one is right or wrong in their perspective, but both partners often feel misunderstood and rejected or judged and criticized for their opinions and beliefs. Depending on how your family systems operated parents are either supportive and validating or judgmental and critical. Parents do the best they can based on what was role modeled to them in their own family of origins. Often times criticisms were used to try and motivate their children so they become successful. If this isn’t obvious to being counterproductive, please take an effective parenting class.
My Perspective Your Perspective
Anyone who has been in a relationship knows the power of perspective. Good communication is key for being able to share because being able to see a situation from someone else’s eyes helps with being able to show empathy and make a connection. As a marriage counselor, I help couples appreciate how each sees situations. Who’s to say one way is better than another? Who’s to say there is only one way to look at things? I believe a person’s perspective is valid. In couples counseling, the husband and wife are both correct. I also interject that my own perspective is correct. Meaning perspectives are correct for the person having them.
To be successful in relationships it’s imperative to be able to respect each other’s opinions. It helps to acquire tools for communicating that respect. A tool I developed for doing just that is a three-step process I call REV. This tool helps stabilize acting-out behavior to continue a conversation productively. REV (or, as I say in therapy, REV if up?) reduces defensiveness with connection to allow space for a healthy resolution.
REV creates an emotional connectedness needed for intimacy when having normal conversations.
The three steps are as follows:
- Do Reflective listening – mirror back the words you heard from your partner
- Show Empathy
The process of using REV makes conflict easier to discuss. Showing empathy for feelings and validating each keeps conversation neutral enough to come to a resolution and deescalates potential volatility. Using REV in conversations, with no conflict present, makes for a feeling of being seen and heard, which leads to a connectedness otherwise not developed. In other words, REV can make all the difference between staying calm and collected and starting WWIII.
Healthy couples know how to show each other empathy when feelings are shared. Healthy couples know how to validate each other’s thoughts, opinions, and perspectives. If you cannot or will not appreciate each other’s perspective, power struggles can exist which makes for a downward spiral which may put distance between the pair.
If you’d like more information on the REV tool and how it manages conflict please contact me at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or call me at (858) 735-1139.