”Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It’s not logical; it’s psychological.”
— Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Keep this in mind the next time you and your S.O. get into a fight.
But how can two people be right if they vehemently disagree?
Perhaps you need to read the story of the blind men and an elephant.
A group of blind men all come across an elephant for the first time. They all begin touching the elephant to learn what it is like. But each man feels a different part of the elephant’s body, from it’s tusk to its tail. When they compare notes, they realize they are in complete disagreement.
In reality, none of the blind men were wrong in their description. They were all partially right — they just didn’t see the full picture.
Similarly, you and your significant other could both possess a range of truths when having an argument.
There are many possible perspectives people can have, and even if every perspective is true, every perspective is also partial.
Psychology author Ken Wilber came up with a framework to explain how these different perspectives arise from looking at something from the inside (subjectively) versus from the outside (objectively).
Your subjective and objective experience can both be true, but you are limited to your own scope of evidence. You need to factor in more than your own partial viewpoint when fighting with your S.O.
So the next time you find yourself in a screaming match with your partner, take a step back and really try to see things from their point of view.
Sometimes there really is more than one correct side to an argument.
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