“90% of our conflicts totally dissipate when we put ourselves into someone else’s shoes and accurately see the world from their perspective.”
This week I was leading a group of about 80 students in the media center on a topic around digital wellness. This group of kids has struggled all year as a whole with making good choices and being a positive influence on those around them. Rather than suggesting the “Golden Rule” of treat others how you would like to be treated, I shared what I had recently learned from listening to a podcast with the co-creator of eHarmony’s software, Les Parrott, about “mirror neurons”.
He stated, “when you begin to change your behavior, your partner can mimic unconsciously.” He also compared a relationship to a dance. When one partner changes their steps, the other partner naturally has to respond to these changes. They may not always respond in a positive way and it may take time, but we can do incredibly positive things on our own that can be contagious in our relationships. I hope that sharing this idea with these students encouraged those leaders in the group to lead by example and that naturally their classmates will follow suit….in time.
Les also shared that conflict in any relationship or group can drive deeper intimacy if it is the right type of conflict. He used the labels, “Good, Bad, or Dumb fights”. He stated, “90% of our conflicts totally dissipate when we put ourselves into someone else’s shoes and accurately see the world from their perspective.” What a challenge this presents but what truth it reveals. The counselor at our school is teaching skills around conflict circles and using empathy that I know will make a difference. Empathy involves the heart and mind. It is a difficult skill to put into practice but it is the answer to most of our conflicts in our lives.
The last piece Les shared was around entitlement. We are entitled to nothing in life. When we start to think that we are owed certain things because of the work we put in, or the amount of money we have spent, or the time invested, we are becoming entitled. We don’t always get what we deserve. He spoke about overcoming difficulties in life and stated, “it’s the capacity to adjust to things beyond your control.”