Alphabet Series - V is for Victory
I think the vast majority of us, if given the choice, would prefer to win than lose.
When we look at world history there is a lot of war and one group conquering another and making off with the spoils. Since losing the war can carry significant loss and winning cause significant gain, it is no wonder most of us would choose to win. Yet it is difficult to look at this woman smiling while building a bomb. Yet my guess is if she were on the losing side she wouldn't be smiling quite so much.
I don't want to write about war, but I do want to write about victory and what it means in a relationship - with someone close or with people in the world we share with whom we conflict.
I don't want to write about war, but I do want to write about victory and what it means in a close relationship. Let's say you and your significant other are having a bit of a disagreement about something and you know you are right but, unfortunately, so do they. You start to put your good reasons forth about why you are right and maybe downgrade their reasons. You may even find yourself in a competitive mindset - you want to prove you are right whether you are or not. I have had many people tell me that they realized in the middle of an argument that they were wrong, but they carried on and didn't want to admit it. Not the most ideal way to be, but perhaps you can identify that part of you that likes to be right, even if it means making the other person wrong. I
Therapists want you to believe that there really is no wrong or right in these matters. There is your truth and there is mine. They are both equally valid for each of us. My job is not to diminish your view, but to clearly put forth my reasons for believing what I do and to listen to you to do the same. And then to ask out loud: "Given your view and my view are different what do we think is best next step for us?" When there are differences you first want to hear and understand the other's point of view and then you want to work together to find a solution.
When therapists work with conflict they want to create a spirit of cooperation in creating a solution that is mutually satisfying.The goal is win-win not win-lose. The question asked is of those in conflict is, "What can we do so we each walk away from this discussion feeling we have won?"
There is you. There is me and there is us. In a relationship you want to take care of all three. The relationship does not win, if winning only means I got my way and you did not. Obviously there is give and take and compromises need to be back, but that is achievable if you are invested in the relationship. If you want the relationship to survive you need to focus on how do we make it better.
The world is facing a lot of conflict and it will not be resolved easily and perhaps never. One obstacle to finding a peaceful workable path is not everyone holds the same goal - the thriving of the relationship we have with each other and our universe. I would hope we could find a way or ways for us all to be victorious and not have it come at the expense of anyone else being a loser.