Have you ever felt frustrated because you believe someone you love doesn’t understand what you are communicating? This can ignite a fire of anger and hurt feelings because we long for the other person to “understand” our point of view. However, often we are actually trying to get them to agree with us rather than understand, and that is why we become frustrated. We confuse lack of agreement as meaning the person doesn’t understand us.
We operate under the mistaken belief that if we just state our case clearly enough or with enough conviction, then they will agree with us.
This confusion between agreeing and understanding fuels many relationship problems. However, what if agreement is not the ultimate goal? Is it possible to understand someone’s position, yet disagree with their line of thinking? The answer is yes, we can disagree but understand. However, understanding is not often enough to put out the fire, but honor is. When we honor someone we give their thoughts and feelings value, even if we don’t agree. Essentially, we communicate, although I disagree, I will honor you by honoring your request. So this may look like doing a task that you don’t agree needs to be done, but honoring the person with the action anyways. It might be not engaging in something a loved one sees as harmful to them or you. No matter how it takes place, honoring the other is the solution because it values the other person. Understanding followed by honoring the others thoughts can extinguish the flames and create more connectedness.