Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oprah and Aristotle sitting in a tree

These lyrics to a song by Low
I'll stay out all night
Looking at the sky
I'll still have my sight
Yeah, I'll still have my eyes
And we will make love
We won't have to fight
We won't have to speak
And we won't have to lie
And I'll stop writing songs
Stop scratching out lines
I won't have to fake
And it won't have to rhyme
When I go deaf
When I go deaf
When I go deaf
When I go deaf (etc)

Now thats a unique way to avoid miscommunication.

This is what the fat Lady Sings

They (so called experts) sum up in three "acts" the breakdowns and breakups of most relationships since the beginning of time:
Act 1: You hurt me.
Act 2: Because you hurt me, I now hurt you.
Act 3: Because you hurt me, I now hurt you and so you hurt me again and so I hurt you -- and downward spiraling we shall go.

Aristotle says: "Anybody can become angry -- that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way -- that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."

I am not a couples expert but this seems so on the button.

Gottman's 3 conflict strategies:
• Avoidance/stonewalling (the worst)
• Fighting (better than avoidance, but still not healthful or helpful)
• Validation (the winning method -- which means really trying to see things from the other person's point of view, and sharing all views with kindness, and the goal of finding a win-win compromise!)

So I think Aristotle had it partially right but something in my memory tells me that he lived in a different time at a slower pace with less technology and he may have been gay (like that matters but 2 people of the same sex seem to fight more fair) but he is a bit on to something.

But trying to see things from the other persons point of view is so darn essential and if you simply ask your self in the middle of that conflict “I wonder how that makes her feel” no matter if you are wrong or you are right you well along the road to “sane discourse”.

We all want to be right, but its okay to be wrong gracefully. Its an art form and work on perfecting it.

But what makes Aristotle so smart, or for that note, me so smart or my wife so smart. Well you appear smarter when acting out of kindness.

There is a lot of literature out there that we reward kids for too many things, ie participating. Those so Called Experts (TSCE) say we should be rewarding them for winning. Boy that kicks conventional wisdom right in the teeth and at times other places. As we age and mature it is not always about winning or being right.

And by all means listen. Perfect it. And listen to your self.

Listen and Silent have the same letters in them.

On a side note some times I perceive our therapist needs more help than we need help and Oprah and Aristotle would have had nice babies.

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