A Window of Time.
Ralph wakes up on Saturday morning and makes coffee.
Robin joins him a few minutes later. She sees a glass in the sink and says, "You left the glass in the sink." He replies, "Well, you left a pan on the stove." She asked, "Why do you always turn it around on me?" He retorts, "I'm not turning it around on you; I'm giving you a fact just like you gave me." Their words escalated, with both blaming the other.
Robin becoming distraught, leaves the room in total frustration. Ralph feels like he has done nothing wrong. The relationship fractures a little more.
Let's look at this situation from afar. Robin states a fact, and rather than accepting her fact and acknowledging it, Ralph becomes defensive. I wonder if he's thinking of how many great things he has done for her over the past years, and now she's complaining about a stinking glass in the sink.
Robin is looking at a narrow window of time. Robin's time is now not looking in the past.
In this instant, she sees something she has talked to Ralph about. She knows he knows it is her pet peeve to have dirty dishes in the sink. She wonders why he changes the subject to a pan on the stove rather than deal with the glass in the sink.
There are many different solutions to this widespread issue.
If Ralph would agree and say, "you're right, and let me take care of this quickly," he would look like a hero. He would have to overlook the perceived condemnation of being accused of doing things that upset his wife.
This could be seen as a blemish on him or if he was feeling great about himself, he could have handled this with a smile.
If he has an issue with Robin leaving the pan on the stove, it needs to be handled at a different time and conversation, not when she brings up something about him that he doesn't like to hear.
Robin could have done this with a kind and considerate voice, which may have created a different experience for Ralph. Both might be sitting on unfinished business that causes them not to hear a perceived complaint from the one they care about the most.
This issue is more common than not. It doesn't have to be a glass or a pan. It could be any number of things that happen in a relationship.
Are you keeping in the moment during your conversations? Can you be kinder and more considerate in your requests?
Watch for the blind spots.
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Blind Spots in Relationships
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