Relationship Fitness

S13 Communication Basics E4: We All See Things Differently

In “Relationship Workout for Men,” Season 13 Episode 4 titled “We All See Things Differently,” Vince unpacks the critical communication insight that each person perceives the world uniquely. He explores six key reasons why understanding this diversity in perception is vital in relationships, including how we observe, interpret, and recall events differently, and how our narratives are influenced by personal biases and self-interests. Vince emphasizes that recognizing and respecting these differences can prevent misunderstandings and foster a deeper connection between partners. Through this episode, Vince aims to guide listeners towards more empathetic and effective communication, highlighting the importance of acknowledging our varied perspectives to strengthen the bond with our partners.

Welcome to Relationship Workout for Men, a podcast dedicated to helping men be intentional in choosing a better partner, and being a better partner for the person they choose.

Season 13 Episode 4: We All See Things Differently

In this episode we discuss Relationship Workout Communication Basic #3: We All See Things Differently

The fact of the matter is all of us see the world differently, and it’s helpful to remember that you and your intimate partner likely see things differently. Here are six reasons why it’s important to understand this:

One, we all observe and retain different information. Each person observes and retains information differently based on their focus, past experiences, and what they deem important. This diversity means that each partner in a relationship might recall different details of the same event, leading to varied perspectives.

Indeed, no two people notice the same thing in exactly the same way. For instance, after having sex you might remember mostly feeling like a sex-rock star as you recount how many orgasms she had. Meanwhile, she might remember mostly how connected she felt to you. 

Also, your partner can’t possibly know you like you know yourself. From the details surrounding your crappy day at the office to your broader fears, hopes and dreams, she can’t possibly know all that makes you tick.

Two, we all interpret events differently. We’ve all had different experiences that can strongly influence our interpretations in the present moment. In other words, people interpret events through the lens of their own emotions, beliefs, and past experiences. This means that even if two people experience the same event, they might derive entirely different meanings from it. Acknowledging this can help in understanding why a partner may have a different viewpoint.

For instance, you may have been taught by your parents that a gentleman always opens the door for a lady. Meanwhile, the woman you just started dating might believe that it’s both sexist and annoying when a man opens the door for her.

Three, our stories are often shaded by our own self-interests. We often use and recite only the information that best supports our own (often biased) stories. This self-bias can shade how we perceive events and interactions. Recognizing this in oneself and a partner can lead to a more empathetic and less judgmental approach to resolving differences.

Put another way, we can focus our stories on the aspects of the facts that support our points of view and shine us in the most positive light, while ignoring or explaining away the aspects that don’t.

Four, Emotional Responses Vary: Different people have different emotional responses to the same situation. These responses are influenced by individual emotional makeup, past traumas, and personal triggers. Understanding this can foster patience and empathy.

Five, Communication Styles Differ: Each person has a unique way of communicating. Some might be more direct, while others are more indirect and reflective. These styles can affect how information is conveyed and interpreted within a relationship.

Six, there may be cultural and background differences: Partners may come from different cultural, educational, or family backgrounds, which can influence how they see and interpret the world. Recognizing and respecting these differences is key to a harmonious relationship.

By understanding and respecting these differences in perception, interpretation, and communication, you can engage more effectively and compassionately in your relationship, leading to a deeper mutual understanding and stronger bond.

So that’s Relationship Workout Communication Basic #3: We all see things differently.

In the next episode, we turn our attention to Relationship Workout Communication Basic #4: Thinking She’s the Problem.

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