Monday, February 4, 2008

Through Other's Eyes

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine where I disagreed with what was said, but I knew that it wouldn't matter how I explained the situation he wouldn't be able to see it the way I did. I was able to view it the way he did and realized how important this was to him...just as important to me, too... maybe even more so, which is another thing I don't think he could understand. That is why I didn't get into it. He couldn't see, and I knew from the way he was talking, couldn't hear any reasons, or explanations as to how what he was saying might not be the case.

On the other hand, I could be wrong. But I know who I am and what my strengths are and I'm able to see a tremendous amount in people and relationships. And to some of you out there who think that I might be oblivious or that I deny what I'm feeling, I don't. I just won't admit it to you. Trust me I know what I'm feeling, and dreaming. Geez Louise, I think most of you out there reading would admit that I'm aware of my feelings, and if I'm not so sure of what they are I try to figure it out until I actually know what's going on with me.

I think some of this has to do with the fact that he's a guy, and I'm a girl. And maybe some of it has to do with the fact that I see problems as solvable and able to be worked through. Of course, not everything has a happy ending and I think that he's coming from that point of view. But there are some things I know how to handle and how they can and should be handled, children being one of them.

Should he take off his blinders or should I stop wearing rose colored glasses? Whatever it is... I'm sad for the loss of what could be.


Anonymous said...

Every situation in life has its share of challenges. The question is, how important is it to the person to step up and face the challenge.
Sometimes changes in a situation can change the challenge.
An example: a child can have problems because they are mistreated in one environment. However, if they are in a different environment and treated with respect, love, and compassion, you might begin to see a child that did not have those same problems.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you have different styles of solving problems? You haven't given a lot of info to go on, so my approach might be off the mark, but here goes. I took a stab at it. My guess is that one of you is more process than results oriented.

One person might not require a detailed plan, and might be more comfortable just with knowing the endpoint they wish to reach, confident that as the situations develop they can adjust to them.

Another person might not be able to conceptualize the endpoint without knowing exactly how to get there, and that person will want Plan B's and Plan C's for every eventuality on the way. Such a person may be catatonic in terms of moving forward, because the problems seem impossible to surmount, and they are always waiting for real life to match up with their "theory" before they can feel comfortable moving forward.

With such a person, you're right - it wouldn't make a difference "how I explained the situation" because they are more process oriented, as opposed to endpoint oriented.

Both types of people need to learn how to stretch their predispositions, if they want a relationship with each other.

The "visionary" needs to learn that the "scientist" won't be able to buy into a plan that's not clearly laid out. Saying "I wasn't going to get into it" won't work with such persons. He's not going to buy into "feelings" or "I just know". In my view, the worst thing you can do is clam up in frustration - this just causes the scientist to be more distrustful of the visonary's plan.

The "scientist" needs to let loose a bit and trust that even the best laid plans don't have the power to protect him from the rigidity that limits his ability to respond to situations "in the field".

As a couple, though, these two people can be a powerhouse, I feel.

Note though, and you surely know this, with people who have been burned by life experiences, it takes time to develop the courage to "take a chance". Especially when these people are "scientists". For them there always remains the prospect that "happy endings" won't result because they haven't prepared enough or examined enough. If they blame this not having been "open-eyed" enough for the failures they experienced, they will be hyper-careful.

Yet, for the person who is able to face their fears, the endpoint and a sketch plan is sufficient for moving forward. Such a person is a "visionary".

To sum up, don't despair - either of you. You both have qualities that in a friendship complement each other. Disparaging yourselves by referring to what you have as "rose colored glasses" and what he does as "blinders" is not helping you to resolve this resolveable issue. Try not to discount your friend's response as "not listening", but rather an inability to hear you because you're not presenting the case in a way he can understand it.

If your relationship is something that stands on its own, respect each others' styles enough to be flexible. You should strive to be more detail oriented, your friend should strive to be more spontaneous. Listen to the subtext that sits below the issue you are discussing. There are huge payoffs if you succeed in this, as a couple and from the perspective of personal growth (which as far as I'm concerned, is no small part of "couplehood").

But then again, if you're disagreeing about endpoints, none of the above applies - your values are different, and you won't be able to square the circle. But that's not a matter of "blinders" or "rose colored glasses", CR. It seemed from what you wrote that the situation might have been laced with more subtlety than that.

I hope this helps. Good luck, CR, I'm hoping for you.

come running said...

It seems as though you have some idea of what was discussed.

I agree with you about treating a child with love, patience and understanding brings out the best in them. That doesn't mean that structure and discipline fall by the wayside. It's just in the manner they're implemented.

Wow! Your comment was longer than my post.

I get your idea about detailing how things can be handled to work out in the best way possible. BUT I don't want to have to argue this point. I don't want to have to prove that it can work out.

I'm quite willing to sit down and discuss it, but only if I'm asked... otherwise his defenses will just go up and he won't be able to hear what I'm saying, anyway.

PLUS, I want someone to want me, to be willing to work on things with me and for us so that we can be together. It's obvious that this is not the case so it's time to move on.

frumhouse said...

I admire your ability to see the situation objectively. It seems you put your child first in every situation - which is as it should be!

come running said...

Actually, he was putting his children first.

But I think I was doing that also by not defending DB to him. DB does not need defending. He is a wonderful loving boy stuck in a horrible situation.