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I have observed something lately and it’s got me thinking. You know how they say as you get older, you become more set in your ways, more independent, and harder to change? Well, I believed it when I first heard it but I believe it even more now. You see, I’ve noticed that there’s a tendency for single folk (both male and female but some would argue that this is more common with women) to be so set in their ways that them become so “unteachable” i.e. they are unwilling to be taught/corrected and they always want to be right even in casual conversation and unknown to them, this kind of behavior can be a HUGE turn off for someone who is interested in them. Let me explain.
Have you ever found yourself in a conversation (and in some cases an argument) where someone is challenging a previously held notion of yours and you find that you get very defensive to the point that even when you KNOW that they are making a lot of sense, you refuse to accept or give any consideration to what they are saying. In fact, you don’t even process what they say at all and right there and then, in the heat of the conversation/argument, you make it clear that you disagree with what they said and you won’t accept it. Then later on, in the quiet of your own company, you begin to process what they said and you start to see some truth in it.
This kind of behavior brings to light two things: That the person who was unwilling to consider the other’s point of view is not a good listener and is not teachable – two qualities that are VERY important in any kind of relationship including marriage. I strongly believe more than ever that loving another person and being in a committed relationship requires a lot of work. More work than many people realize. It requires compromise and a willingness to learn, grow, and in many cases change – for the better. This kind of growth doesn’t come easy. It requires us to be willing to listen and not just wait for our turn to speak and it also requires being willing to accept that in every interaction and conversation lies an opportunity to grow – even if it means that we aren’t right.
The lesson I’ve taken from this observation is that in every conversation I’m engaged in, I must try to listen actively (not that I wasn’t before but be more intentional in my listening) and even when pride gets in the way, instead of trying to be right and have the upper hand in every conversation, I must be willing to see things from the other person’s point of view, process it, and be willing to learn and change when necessary.
We must stop always trying to be right because in a relationship (marriage included), it isn’t always about being right.
I watch some people in conversation and some are so “difficult” i.e. they refuse to consider what other people are saying/suggesting and not even willing to see reason in what is being said. If I were considering them for a relationship, that would be a telltale sign – not necessarily an entire put off but there’s a chance it would be a put off.
And the beauty is that this lesson can be applied in general and not just to romantic relationships i.e. if a person is looking for a business partner and they observe over and over again that you are always more interested in being right and never willing to learn or consider another’s point of view, they might reconsider bringing you on board ‘cause really, who needs that kind of stress in every business decision. Am I saying, you’ll never be right in conversation or you won’t have anything to offer? Absolutely not but the beauty is the more willing you are to learn from others, the better a person you become.
Think about it…