One of the fastest ways to spark conflict is to assume the meaning you are attaching to your partners’ words is the right meaning.
I remember communicating something in a session to a lady who decided to put her own meaning to my words and then blamed me because she wasn’t happy with her own conclusion of my words.
You may want to read this next part twice because this is such an interesting model to watch.
Someone can create an upsetting reaction to a conversation by triggering themselves negatively from their own meaning.
They identify negatively with their own meaning and to make matters worse for themselves they end up doing an upsetting negative emotion to themselves.
They then blame the other person for making them feel bad.
(BTW Couples in my sessions learn that we do our emotions to ourselves and to never mindread).
The result of their pattern is they feel terrible, about what they did to themselves and then blame others so now they are a judge as well.
Judging isn’t loving so now they are in conflict with themselves and this simply compounds their already bad feelings.
All this happens in a fraction of a second which is why people are not seeing what they are doing.
They are so blind to what they are doing, they feel their emotional position is justified.
The lady in the session with me, her illusion was I did her upset to her, she was unaware she did her upset to herself from the meaning she attached to my words.
I had to point out my observation of her pattern and share it with her as it’s one of the patterns she runs in her marriage that she must stop if she ever wants to give her marriage a chance.
That day she woke up to this pattern and realised she was constantly creating ways to feel bad without knowing.
She wasn’t aware she did her emotions to herself and she wasn’t aware the meaning she attached to my words had a very different intent from me to the one she made up.
The process that causes so many of these struggles consists of two problems, assumptions and mind-reading.
“I know what you were thinking” and “I know what you meant”, obviously, this thinking is impossible and will create endless problems for any couple.
This destructive practice is very common between men and women because the way they process information is totally different and can easily lead them both to the wrong conclusions.
Remember people are looking at behaviours as right or wrong, when in fact all they are is different which should be expected.
So the moment you tell someone the meaning you attached to their words or actions is the accurate one and you make them responsible, you will find yourself in an instant conflict with them.
You leave them little choice but to defend their honour, identity, and integrity.
I see many conventions where this happens and one person is compelled to correct their partner saying “that’s not what I said” whilst the other responds with “that’s exactly what you said”.
So please stop telling people how they feel, and never attach your meanings to what they are saying as if you are right.
The only person that knows their true intent is them, so please believe them.