The Challenge of Seeking to Understand?

Here is the scenario: wife asks husband, “do you know what I mean?”  And he says, “Yes honey, I understand it perfectly.”  The husband is not lying, but he isn’t telling the whole truth either.

You see, understanding someone is not an exact science.  Because it’s impossible to get into another person’s head.  No matter what, the outcome is never perfect nor complete. The best one can hope for is a close approximation of the speaker’s intent.

So, the husband is put in a precarious situation.  What could he do to improve his odds of getting dinner tonight?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Don’t get frustrated in trying for a perfect understanding, it does not exist
  • Instead, focus on not only the words but also the speaker’s intent and feelings
  • Respond in a way to make the other person feels understood

How could the husband improve his answer so his wife would feel more understood?

 

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