A-(which) Allows (for)
Our brains are meaning making machines looking for evidence of what is already known. Or, at least what we think is known. Evidence is seen through the filter of our beliefs established long ago. Our past, seen in this way creates our future.
There is a saying that goes something like this, “We are doomed to continue to repeat the mistakes of the past if we don’t learn from them”. This seems obvious because all that we know is what has already happened.
The real challenge is when the past is not seen objectively. We place judgment on what the impact has been and project how future similar actions will play out. This limits risk taking, builds protective walls, and keeps us stuck in comfort zones.
This shows up in our patterns of communicating with our partners as well. Projecting our beliefs as right or wrong before understanding that our partner has a different perspective is one way communication shuts down before it even has a chance to start.
Many times, we hear couples talk about choosing to say “nothing” rather than risk saying the “wrong thing”. The “wrong thing” is seen as the beginning of an argument or escalating behavior.
The Ladder of Inference is a model which is helpful in explaining how our minds make up stories which lead to beliefs and behaviors without staying grounded in the facts. Feel free to google for more information.
How might inference be showing up in your communication with your partner?
Stephen Covey gave us sage advice when he suggested that we “seek first to understand and then to be understood.”
The ability to communicate is the number one reason couples come to us in our coaching practice.
Are you listening for both content and intent of what is being said?
Are you feeling heard?
How can we support you and your relationship?
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln
What steps will you take today toward the relationship you desire?
Written by: Steve Hartline