Next time you’re in an argument with your spouse, your family, your co-workers, remember this: The other person in an argument knows you are wrong. This is why they’re arguing with you. They aren’t pretending to think you’re in error. They’re not waiting for you to express yourself in just the right way that teaches them some valuable life lesson. They feel you “just aren’t getting it,” that you just aren’t open-minded enough to understand the complexity of the situation. Sound familiar?
See the other person’s viewpoint first. Really see it, before you jump to judging, before you lecture them about how childish, lazy, selfish, etc., etc., he/she is. Who knows you better than anyone else in the world? Your romantic partner. Before you dismiss their feedback entirely, consider there is probably at least a grain of truth in what he/she is communicating. Recognize that grain of truth, own up to it–then try to help your partner see where you are coming from.
Personal growth is a real thing, but it’s not for the feint of heart. With true growth comes growing pains, painful realizations that you are not quite who you thought you were. Personal growth is a plant watered by humility and compassion, not criticism and self-righteousness.
About the Author: James Robbins is a licensed professional counselor, published author and co-owner of Dallas Whole Life Counseling. He has over 15 years of experience helping people in various life stages that come from a wide variety of cultural, economic and family backgrounds. Learn more about his background by clicking here.