Two Things Can Be True - How to Find the Truth on Both Sides
You're wrong. I'm right!
This is HOW it is.
If you watch TV, go on social media, or just have an old-fashioned conversation, you're bound to get frustrated sooner or later.
It seems that people just want to get their point across and feel good about it. Done and done.
But that neglects a very important truth. You can be right. And I can be right as well.
Two things can be true at the same time.
Not convinced? Keep reading.
Where I Start Having Issues
I'm a helper by nature. I always want to make things better. This often gets me in a bit of trouble.
This is what will happen. I'll notice something, and I'll make a comment about it. I think in systems and processes, so I'll often notice a way that a system or process could be improved. I don't know everything, of course. But I've gotten pretty good at improving upon current systems.
Still, when I make a comment, it's common to get a certain kind of reaction. The person frowns. Their feelings are hurt. They think I'm telling them that they, as a person, are broken, when, in fact, I'm talking about the system. It's quite the predicament.
Has anything like this ever happened to you?
When Two Views Begin to Clash
The problem with having strong viewpoints is that humans typically want to hold onto THEIR strong viewpoints and ward off others' viewpoints. It's human nature to want to protect our egos.
But two things can be true at the same time.
Just because I share that there may be another way of doing things does not mean that the person I'm talking to is suddenly and irreparably broken. It doesn't mean that one new suggestion from me completely negates every good idea they've ever had. Yet, this is what happens a lot of the time.
So what is a honest, hardworking person to do?
Find the Truth On Both Sides
Look for the truth. On BOTH sides.
When you're talking with someone about a new idea, an idea that has the potential to shake their current viewpoint, keep a few things in mind.
- Speak to their truth. But own your truth as well. Acknowledge that there is value to what they are saying. And remind them that the introduction of a new idea does not demolish their truth for eternity.
- Enter the conversation with good intentions. Don't shove your truth in another person's face. Don't brag about your truth. Operate with unconditional positive regard. You'll both be much better off for it. And you'll be more likely to get what you want out of the situation.
- Learn to walk away. If it's just not working out, if you're just not getting anywhere in a conversation, it's OK to walk away and come back later--or not at all. When you force something against the way of the world, don't be surprised when you get yourself wedged in an impassable crevice. People don't want to be convinced. They want to be gently led to finding a new and steady position on their own.
Summing It All Up - Find Your New Truth
If you remember those three points, you'll have much better success getting your own points across. You'll probably be happier too.
And this goes both ways.
If someone approaches you with a proposition that shakes your foundation, try not to get angry. They might be sharing something that will help you in the long run.
Take a deep breath and go with the flow, not against it.
Their truth may not erase your truth. It may make it even better.