Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a Mile in My Shoes
by Doe Zantamata
One of the most effective ways of resolving an argument is for those involved to see the other person's perspective. Actual role-playing isn't necessary, but it can actually be fun, and take the heat off of what could otherwise turn into an argument.
The shift from trying to tell someone what's bothering you, to trying to find out what's bothering them, may not seem like much as long as both are able to talk and be heard, but it makes a big difference.
Assumptions are revealed in role-playing. People are able to see how their words and actions are being perceived, and the affect they are having on the other person. This often leads to valuable insight and a greater awareness. This can improve future word choices and actions if the perception was different than what was intended.
Alternatively, instead of role playing, you can ask each other to repeat back what you just said. What you hear may surprise you. Each of our perceptions is different, and when you say something, it passes through another person's perception filter before being understood.
If someone's filter includes insecurities or past pain, they may totally take offense to an honest innocent question, or they may perceive judgement against them when there was none.
Asking each other to repeat back what you'd just said allows you to hear what they heard after the filter. That gives you a chance to clarify exactly what you meant.