Perception is Reality

Perception is reality. This assertion is most often at the foundational levels of all our interaction we have each day. At work, school, friendships or relationships, your perceptions can be the cause of disagreements and infatuations.

Take for instance an abusive relationship. Looking in from the outside, it may seem that a husband is controlling, disrespectful, unfair and downright mean. However, the wife may see him as assertive, confident, bold, and fearless. And even though he treats her in a way that may generally be perceived as "abusive", her perception of him may be exactly what she wants, or even needs, in a relationship.

In regards to perception, we hear people's opinions about situations and others. This can be seen all around us from little pre-schoolers fighting over a toy, to the highest levels of politics and media. He said she said arguments arise trying to justify actions and prove who is right or wrong.

As we hear these accounts of situations, most will usually take an account of what happened, as facts of what truly happened. Like the game of telephone, the more people the story gets communicated through, the more it changes.

In evaluating situations or solving conflicts, it's absolutely crucial to realize that everyone that communicates, is communicating through a filter dictated by their prior life experiences. They use this filter to make sure judgements and come to their conclusions and ultimately, this filter reinforces their program of how they interact in the world.

In the same way it's a good practice to take a step back and gather thoughts before responding or reacting, it's a good practice to take a moment and realize that during conversations, you're speaking to a person through his/her perceptions and filter, instead of speaking to the clean slate that is objectively able to evaluate situations.

Clarity and win-win situations are always the goal in successful communication and conflict resolutions.

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