We think we are right until we take the time to really listen to the other person’s viewpoint. This was the case for me as I approached a sensitive subject with my husband. Truthfully, I didn’t want to talk about it because I thought I was right. And that being the case, there would be nothing I could do about it other than “hope” to change him.
I dove in and talked about it anyway. It went something like this: I feel like [fill in the blank] is happening and I was hoping we could change that.
His reply completely surprised me, because I hadn’t considered the idea that I was wrong, totally sure that I had it all figured out.
He said something like this: Yes, I am doing that. The reason is because I am reacting to you, and what you are doing and have done in the past.
I started to laugh. Not because I didn’t think it was serious or important, but because I hadn’t considered being wrong or being the one to cause the unwanted action that I was scared to even talk about.
Dumbfounded, “Wow, I am the one wrong here! How did that happen?” the shock left me spinning.
Once the I-think-I’m-right-teacup-ride stopped, I was never so happy to be wrong! Now I could change what I was doing, and therefore, change the whole situation. Whew! So happy! So glad I brought it up! So happy to be wrong!
Communication. It is critically important in any relationship. The level of success in any relationship will be determined by the ability to have healthy communication.
Communication isn’t just talking and being understood, more importantly it is listening. Listening with no judgment, no agenda, and no bias, and listening in a way that everyone wins. Listening with your heart—a heart that says, “I love you”—and wanting what is best for you…for us. As soon as we listen to argue, or to be “right,” looking out for ourselves in a selfish way, we have already lost. We’ve lost the ability for healthy communication and possibly the ability for a healthy marriage.
It’s okay to be wrong—in fact, I am going to make it a habit.