In our relationships there are times when all we think about is our own personal interests and our own needs. We actually refuse to see our spouse or significant other’s point of view, nor are we open for communication. With that being said, conflict is inevitable; however, most of the time, it isn’t the conflict itself that is the problem or how it is potentially resolved, but it is about our own attitudes and issues.
Sometimes in our relationships we get in a funk. We fall into that “it’s all about me” attitude and we aren’t focused. This holds especially true when conflict arises. We tend to convolute the issues by bringing up past issues and problems that hurt us, or ones that we make “all about us” and we don’t allow our focus to be on the present or our actual feelings today. At that moment, we skew all understanding of what is really happening and we make our situations more taxing.
Having empathy in our relationships is one of the single most important values to have. When conflict arises, instead of tending to only think about ourselves and our own personal feelings, we need to instead flip it and have empathy for our partners. With that, we can in turn see one another’s point of view. We can also see our problem or issue more objectively which will then lessen the focus on the argument at hand.
The following are some tips on ways to improve your personal attitude when you are suffering from what I call the “it’s all about me” syndrome:
- Listen to one another intently. Do you ever find yourself sitting there when your spouse is talking to you and you are thinking about tomorrow’s work or what you are going to cook for dinner that evening? Many of us have been guilty of this. It is important to remember that solid communication takes two to achieve. In our marriages and relationships we have to remind ourselves what is most important to us. Let’s be perfectly honest, there are times when what our partner has to say to us (or what we have to say to them) isn’t really that interesting. However, truly engaging ourselves with one another, no matter the subject, reflects true communication.
- Own your own issues. Rarely does fault lie with one person in a relationship. When we argue or have hard times, we tend to place blame unfairly. We tend to shy away from admitting when we are at fault or plain wrong. It takes learning humility in order to feel confident in admitting your own faults. The positive to having such humility is that it opens the door for your spouse to do and feel the same and sets an important example. As I always tell others, humility should certainly not be taken for weakness. So, own your own issues, admit when you are wrong and move past the problem.
- Empathy, empathy, empathy. I cannot stress it enough. Place yourself in your partner’s shoes and walk in them. Feel what they feel. By doing this, you will see a clearer view of their reasoning and their opinions. Hopefully, with both of you exercising a little empathy, your focus will lessen on the issues.
- The “Right” Factor. You do not always have to be right! Get over yourself. You are a partner in your relationship. The definition of partner means two people in a marriage or relationship that share a common interest, an ally, a teammate. Instead of demanding to be right, find compromise. Look to resolution instead of allowing “the win” of the argument to matter. In a relationship that you value, being right or “winning” should be the last thing on your mind. Because feeling like you have to ”win” at the expense of your relationship or your spouse/partner’s feelings, means something is desperately wrong.
Finding balance between our feelings as spouses takes work. Having respect, listening and reminding ourselves to be effective communicators with one another will lead you out of the funk of ”it’s all about me” and into “we are a team” attitude.
Peace & Blessings,