We've known each other for nine years and twenty seven weeks now. I think we've forgotten how much we care about each other. Lately it feels like we don't read what the other says. We don't let the other finish their sentence or thought and instead we cut each other off and yell at each other.
I'm hurt. I really am.
I care about you and the way you talk to me hurts. Why are we hurting each other?
Certis[/url]][...] I often find most derailments and personal attacks begin when a poster starts by addressing this imagined "other" they disagree with rather than the people in front of them.
Let's stop being angry at each other. I know we don't agree about X. But please please please, slow down, calm down, lower your voice and talk to me. Talk to me like I am your wife, husband, grandparent, parent or child. Let's stop being mean, spiteful, sarcastic and other words I don't know to each other. Let's remember that when you type a post here, I am another human being. I have feelings, I bleed and it hurts.
I care about you and so I care about what I say to you. I want you to care about finishing the conversation we started and less about proving how wrong I am.
So let's start over, ok?
English is not my first language. I wasn't raised in American culture. I married an American that was raised in the mid-west and on the more liberal west coast. It wasn't until after we got married and lived together (we didn't live together before we got married) we noticed we had problems. Big problems. I thought I was having a conversation with you about something and instead I hurt your feelings. How did that happen?
It's taken almost five years now, but I think we are starting to speak a common language. Neither of us are getting hurt now because of cross cultural differences. We are now clear on what X means and in what context I say it. I never knew the concept of Dialectics until we both realized we had a problem and sought professional help.
The main ingredient in a dialectic between two people is that each holds on to the belief that, "I'm right and you're wrong." Each person pulls to have his or her point of view accepted by the other. Often people think, "How can he be so stupid not to see the logic in my position," or "How can she be so unreasonable," or "What a jerk!"
When it happens, people often find themselves in squabbles that they have a hard time resolving, Sometimes one person will give in for the sake of making the argument go away, but secretly inside might feel like the other person is wrong. It can be painful for both people, and when it happens a lot can make relationships almost unbearable.
Synthesis is about resolving tension in a dialectic. And here resolving means really resolving, not fake-resolving just to make the fight go away. Fake-resolution doesn't work...it leads to resentment, poor self-esteem, further fighting; all in all tough outcomes.
Real resolution involves making a greater truth out of opposing forces in a dialectic. Often resolution of dialectic tension involves the question, "What's being left out here?" When it's between two people, it involves honoring and validating what is true in the other position without abandoning the truth in your point of view.
So instead of thinking, "He's uptight," when he gets upset about the clothes being on the floor, she might say something about what makes that important to him, like,"Since he grew up with a drill sargent for a father, having a neat home makes him feel safe and secure."
And instead of insisting that she is a slob, he might say to himself, "She has to spend so much energy at work keeping organized that when she comes home she just wants to relax, and to her relaxing means not paying attention to where her clothes go."
The idea here is that we can let go of right and wrong, good and bad and just see both sides as they really are. It doesn't mean that he suddenly says it's okay to leave clothes on the floor - remember, the idea is to hold the truth in both points of view simultaneously.
A real synthesis is going to honor both points of view. Synthesis is kind of like dropping an either/or perspective and adopting a both/and perspective; "I like a neat house, AND you like to forget about where your clothes go."
Because feeling safe is a reasonable goal for a person to have in his own home, AND being able to relax is a reasonable goal for a person to have in her own home.
The main idea is making a synthesis is in letting go of the insistence that "I am right and you are wrong," or "things shouldn't be this way." An effective synthesis within oneself means letting go of the "shoulds" and accepting that things are as they are.
Of course this does not mean that a person must like how things are. It really means that to make a greater truth, one has to acknowledge all that is, including both sides of the inner struggle.
[Maple Leaf DBT]