Stephen Covey writes, “We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behaviour.”
Accordingly, it is likely our first impulse to build a defense of our behavior any time our intentions are misinterpreted.
I’m not a bad person! If only I could make you understand.
It’s a difficult impulse to corral.
Next time you find yourself thinking, “How can I make them understand?” try asking, “What can I learn from this?” instead.
What can you learn so that, in the future, your behavior and your intentions will be more closely aligned? How can you make sure your partner is getting the message you intended?
- How to Listen Without Getting Defensive
- Erring in the Direction of Kindness
- The Digital Age: Empathy in Utopia
The Relationship Minute from The Gottman Institute, dated 12 September 2019. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.