In the duel of two truths what is really going on here?
So often in a relationship we get to a place of ‘I’m right’ so you ‘must be wrong’.
The more we argue the more WE seem SO right and our partners SO wrong.
There is only one way for this scenario to end up from here, with each person in their opposing corners, pistols drawn and one body about to hit the floor.
The real truth of the matter is that we can either be right in our relationships, or we can be happy, but we can’t always both.
And we’ll show you a little trick at the end of this post that will show you being right probably has little to do with the actual truth and more to do with your Ego getting attached.
In the meantime a fabulous relationship skill is to understand that in relationships there is usually more than one truth. It is not simply a case of right and wrong but more often a case of there being many truths.
This is because much of the detail in relationship is subjective, being each individual’s own internal experience rather than just concrete facts. This is where we can get lost on the merry go round of endless, pointless argument trying to be right. Instead of falling into the duel of two truths can you challenge yourself to go a little deeper and see what might be the underlying subjective but equally valid points of view.
Take Annie & Roger for example:
Annie is angry that Roger came home from work too late to look after the children and allow her the time to go out to her book club meeting. On the surface it looks like Roger is in the wrong and Annie is ‘right’.
Looking a little further this couple finds that:
Annie has made the assumption that Roger will know her desire to go out and be home in time without having to remind him (been there?)
Roger is having a busy time at work , feeling snowed under and emotionally closed, unavailable to focus on Annie’s needs (been here?).
Looking even deeper gold is found:
Annie acknowledges her old pattern of not speaking up for her needs and then paying out on Roger for not ‘seeing’ her. Owning this allows her to drop her stance of resentment and her heart re opens.
Roger owns that he has been allowing work to take over his personal space and that he misses the intimacy of his relationship with Annie and the children and wants more of them again.
So this situation ends in a hug instead of a furious argument ending in a cold war that lasts for days. Roger and Annie have been able to hold onto themselves enough to hear each other and end up taking their relationship to a new place of understanding and acceptance.
Annie’s ownership of her pattern gives Roger the space to draw closer to her and his expression of his sadness about missing her draws Annie closer to him.
Understanding another is not about agreement with them. Getting where someone is coming from is about staying open to them, if not to their point of view.
In disagreement it is easy to feel wrong or wronged and ark up or pull away. In this place it is more powerful to hear each other than to try and fix anything. For in hearing each other and seeing the different layers of truth you’ll feel a heart opening and connection arising between the two of you once again.
Humans beings are ultimately logical beings and no matter how incomprehensible another’s behaviour may initially appear to us if we listen and see clearly enough it will always make sense, even if we don’t agree with it. If you can open yourself to hearing where your partner is really coming from, as well as sharing fully of yourself you will find that you can probably both be right and wrong at the same time and it won’t matter. You’ll see it’s just your individual personalities and life experience seeing different sides of the same coin.
You’ll start to see each other more clearly than the issue that divides you. To be heard, seen and validated is one of our most basic human needs and offers much to your relationship.
The softening between you allows new, previously unforeseen ideas, outcomes and possible solutions to arise. This is where seeing the duel of two truths more clearly works for you.
And that little trick we mentioned to see how your Ego might be confusing things?
Try this simple but enlightening game. (Choose a time when you are in a good place with each other):
Decide to argue opposite sides of a point of view.
Have a timer handy (mobile phones are good for this)
The argument needs to be about something totally nonsensical so that neither of you starts with an invested interest in winning or being right eg. should coins have holes in the centre of them or should they be solid.
You have 2 minutes to convince the other person of your argument.
Set your times and GO!
In the two minutes you can see how your Ego works. Does it become somehow adamant that it is right? And the longer you argue the more right you become? Do you get passionate about it and raise your voice, jump up out of your chair to make a point? Does it even feel like a fight to the death?
This is your Ego coming out to play- it wants to be right no matter how illogical the argument might be.
See if you can see it for what it is as once you get this it becomes easier to let go of attachment to being right and become more open to seeing both sides of any argument.
Or do you find the opposite- does your Ego want to collapse and give up at the first sign of challenge? Does this reflect how you are in real life arguments? It may not be that you don’t have a valid point, more that your Ego doesn’t feel strong enough to stand up for itself. Or perhaps your Ego plays it cool, too cool to get invested, finding a way of staying safe and not fully committing to anything?
There is no right or wrong outcome to this game (ha ha!), just an opportunity to learn something about yourself!
And a chance to learn how to stay clear the next time you have a disagreement.