Even the strongest relationships can have issues. Whether it’s your spouse, significant other, co-worker, supervisor/supervisee, friend, family member or neighbor, you are not always going to see eye to eye. When disagreements occur, it can be helpful to remember to take a few minutes and not act on emotion. Use the time to disconnect from the situation. The other person may be going through something completely unrelated to your interaction that is heavily impacting them.
Refocus and try to look at things from the other person’s point of view. You don’t have to agree with them but maybe you can consider what it’s like to walk a few blocks in their shoes. Think about a cat that’s laying on the floor looking intently out the sliding glass door. The cat isn’t going to tell you what’s going on. If you really want to understand and see what they are seeing, you need to get down on the floor next to them. Only then can you truly see what they see in the way they see it.
If you can allow yourself to take the time to listen, consider their perspective and reflect back what you hear, they likely will appreciate the respect you show. Also, you build trust and a give them a sense of safety, an alliance, that can strengthen the relationship for years to come.