Money is a sensitive subject, and in relationships money issues can be the cause of many arguments. This was the case for one of my recent clients.
He was complaining about how he would always get into a fight with his wife when they were discussing money. He said she was always spending too much money, that she didn’t understand how to save money, and it seemed like she didn’t care about his efforts to save.
What my client didn’t realise was that he acted like his view was the only right one, and he never really opened up to a conversation since he immediately would judge his wife’s views as being wrong.
We have probably all experienced being in a situation where we felt like our view is the obvious and correct one, and we just can’t understand how this other person doesn’t see it that way. We might have tried to convince the other person of our views by explaining further and insisting on that we are right and feeling a sense of urgency and a slight pressure to make our case clear. Most likely the conversation slowly developed into an argument over who is right and who is wrong. However in the end we didn’t really succeed in convincing this other person nor did we really try to hear them out, and we were left feeling angry, annoyed and contracted.
In reality we have to understand that each person sees the world and occurrences through their own lens, which has been conditioned by life experience and personalities. Just think about how different the eyewitness accounts of a single event can be.
When we engage in communication with someone, we can soften the communication approach by using the phrases: ‘In my opinion’, ‘from my perception’ or by asking ‘does that makes sense?’. By taking this approach you can present your own view and at the same time invite the other person to share her view as well and thereby create a space for dialogue and sharing of views. When you are not clinging to your own perception and steadfast focused on convincing someone else, you actually allow genuine and mindful communication to happen.
That was what my client realized as well, and once he started letting go of his judgements and began being open to share viewpoints he experience how he and his wife could actually have a peaceful conversation about money – even though they still disagreed.
Watch this short illuminating video of Brian Bauerle, Director of the Asian Leadership Institute and co-founder of TeamUp.
TRY IT OUT! Next time you have a conversation with someone focus on being open to the other person’s truth. Share your own viewpoints freely using the phrase ‘In my opinion’ and listen to the other person and try to understand their views and opinions. Let go of any objective of reaching a conclusion or being right or wrong.
In the comments below I would love to hear if you’ve had a similar experience where genuine communication just didn’t happen.
Co-founder of TeamUp
Find out more about TeamUp Triad Coaching and how to participate in one of our personal growth courses here.