How to Get From Conflict to Understanding

How to Get From Conflict to Understanding

When we get frustrated with others, we can get mired in our stories and locked into repeating patterns of behavior. It’s easy to get stuck in the blaming game.

I went to a workshop with dementia care expert, Teepa Snow, this week. She gave a perfect example of why so many of us can get stuck in frustration mode with members of our family.

The biggest mistake we make in relationships is this:

We don’t understand other perspectives.

We subconsciously expect others to share our perspective. Then we get upset when they don’t share our reality. But our sensory perceptions and our interpretation of what we see can easily lead us to come to opposite conclusions.

understanding other perspectives

For example, people with Alzheimer’s struggle with an increasingly shrinking visual field. Teepa Snow had us hold our hands over our eyes to understand their field of vision. At more advanced stages, their left and right eyes might see, but their brains can no longer integrate the information they see into one collective unit. So at this stage, they try to use touch to make sense of the world. Their sense of distance is distorted too. And then on top of it all, in the advanced stages, their brains can take up to 6 seconds to process information!

Even if we aren’t dealing with someone with dementia, differences in age and health can widen the gap between ourselves and others. But even within the range of normal, our ability to understand the energy of others can vary tremendously!

Our sensory systems are our windows the world.

They can vary by clarity, speed of processing, by visual or auditory field, or by the ability to detect moving objects. They can be widely affected by things like:

  • lighting
  • background noise
  • visual distractions
  • aging
  • disease

And we should not forget that we have olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste), and somatosensory (touch) systems that can vary too! While not recognized as one of the sensory system (yet), our abilities to detect energy emitted from others differs as well.  With all the possible variations in our perceptive abilities, it is virtually impossible for two people to share the same sensory interpretation!

Different Filters

We also have different filters that paint our perspective about how we view the world. They are based on our life-long accumulative experiences, and our subconscious emotions and beliefs. To get a sense of how powerful our filters are, read How Our Filter Messes With Our Relationships. You can also check out The Internal Workings of a Depressed vs. Healthy Mind.

understanding other perspectivesWhen we are triggered, the emotional part of our brain (the amygdala) hijacks the adult part of our brain called the frontal cortex. Because the amygdala is the seat of our flight and fight emotions, this response is called the amygdala hijack. Read more about Why We Get Too Angry or Emotional here.

To change our filters, we have to release the emotions, beliefs and subconscious thoughts that drive our programmed reactions.

When our old triggers are released, we become more in tune with our wisdom. We can then start to better see new and constructive ways of interacting. We can start to feel more compassion for the other’s point of view. We can get more curious about understanding the other’s perspective. We can help the other person feel more heard.

From Conflict to Understanding

When the other person feels heard and understood, that act of compassion will transform the relationship. When we work at understanding other perspectives, we arrive at a more agreeable place to find workable solutions.

The truth is, while we can feel like we have a shared reality with some and not others, this isn’t true. We each have a unique reality based on our filters.

Armed with the perspective that we all see the world in a different way, I hope that we can be more willing to forgive others and ourselves for our differing views.

If you would like to let go of your triggers and have more ease in relationships, check out how I can help with the Body Code. Then contact me to set up a 20 min complimentary consultation.

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