led by Dr. Lyle Becourtney, licensed psychologist: (917) 968-0965

Who was Right

Who Was Right?
I just walked in from the grocery store. My daughter and I went to pick up a few items. So tell me, who was right? Here's what happened:

I was driving down the row, looking for a parking space. A woman was just finishing putting her groceries in her car -- and it was the first space past the handicap spots! Primo parking! So, I stop and put on the blinker. Then I notice that a woman just about 2/3 back of my car, just at the bumper, was in reverse, and a car was waiting for her spot. So I pull up just a little bit, allowing the woman I am waiting for to pull out beyond me and go the other way. It also allowed the woman behind to pull past me and go the other way. So, imagine my surprise when the woman behind me pulls back and decides to go my way, and then pulls right up on my bumper. No problem. Surely, the woman in front will pull back, beside my car, and go the direction I am pointing. Nope. She wanted to go the reverse direction I was pointed, but couldn't figure out how to turn her car sharp enough (she had plenty of room, in my opinion) to do it. So, she pulled out as far as she could without going sharp, looked at me, and wanted me to move backward. Problem was, there was a car on my rear bumper, preventing that. So, she went back into the parking space, made a couple of false attempts, and finally went the direction I was faced, but not before she rolled down her window and yelled some obscenities. She followed this by pulling around to the next row, pausing, and flipped me off. Quite a view for my daughter to take in.

So, who was right? I was, of course. But remember, you have only heard one view -- mine. And I gave you the facts -- mine. We didn't hear from her, so I don't know what she was perceiving.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with marriage? Well, unfortunately, life is very subjective. We all tell ourselves stories from our own perspective, usually the one that puts us in the best light. And that is the problem. We then re-enforce that view in our telling the story. No doubt, this woman went home and immediately told her husband about the idiot driving and being unwilling to back up. He probably readily agreed and re-enforced her view. Maybe she even blogged about it! :-)

My point is, we all tell stories to ourselves and others that put us in the best light, forgetting there is another view, perhaps more accurate, that we have not accounted for. When we believe a) we have the truth, or b) we are right, we are at risk for missing another's point-of-view.

Perception becomes reality. Misunderstanding becomes rupture of relationship. Then, we keep telling stories that support our opinion, finally proving that the relationship is a farce, and built upon lies. Unfortunately, sometimes it is built on the lies we have told ourselves, not those of a spouse.

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