Have you ever seen how two people get completely caught up in a war of beliefs? It turns into painful, hurtful lose:lose situation. For example a separated couple fighting over the care of their child(ren). Each partner truly believing that they are the better person to raise the child(ren), that they are in the ‘right’. Each partner usually has a group of supporter who equally believe s/he does things right. The battle than is about pointing out the other party’s shortcomings or mistakes and highlight one’s own assets.
Nothing can be gained from such a battle of right and wrong. Rather than browbeating the opponent ad nauseam with one’s particular belief it is much more effective to wait until the other person has calmed down. Once that has happened and the ‘issue’ still needs addressing, find out where the other person is coming from. ‘What informs your belief?’ or ‘How do you know that …. is true?’ are questions that help to start a dialogue rather than having two solid, unwavering walls of differing beliefs. Not only that, you also avoid attacking the opposition, increasing your chance of coming to a resolution that suits both parties.
It does not mean that you will WIN the argument. Actually, it’s not about winning at all. It’s about creating a space for dialogue, communication, and ultimately for both parties to learn to co-exist. Without it relationships, communities, and societies will not be able to thrive. People who are interested in winning better join a sports club.
Many people are not aware how the human mind works and don’t know or don’t keep in mind that beliefs and convictions are just that: beliefs and convictions. They are not real, they are just repetitive thoughts a person has had that started to form beliefs. You may believe in God or Buddha, in democracy or communism, in women being better communicators than men, that dope should be legalised or not, that there is global warming or not, it doesn’t matter, all of this is just thought. What we think says more about us then the object or person we think about. Hundred people have hundred different thoughts about any state of affair shaped in their personal mind by deletions, distortions, generalisations, biases, and their own history, their background, culture, and gender to name just a few filters that shape our thoughts. It is unhelpful to think that one’s own fantasy about ‘x’ is better or more accurate that another person’s.
Peaceful co-existence requires an understanding that every person does the best s/he can with the resources s/he has. It means people have to look at each other with compassion rather than with judgement assuming that every person, when in touch with the essence of their being, has the ability to access mental health, happiness, and inner wisdom. Some people may need guidance to find the way to their compassion and inner wisdom.
If the scenario sketched above is like a situation you find yourself in I am inviting you to contact me so that we can arrange a time to talk.