Both/And Perspective

I've been actively practicing deep listening for the past several years to better understand another's perspective. I say "deep listening" because when the topic is related to a core value or a previous "hurt," my initial response is to feel an emotional reaction and formulate my response rather than listening to understand.

Admittedly, one of my emotional pain points is when someone tells me that I didn't experience or do something I believe to be true. I get defensive, double-down, and start to believe that my perspective is the "correct" perspective.

Last week, I was reminded that two different perspectives can be EQUALLY true. 

I had asked my Mom to send me a few research articles on a health myth related to mask-wearing. She responded that the email I gave her didn't work, and the papers were kicked back. She tried to resend them again three more times. 

I asked her if she was sure that she typed my email address correctly; it can be tricky because there are two "Es" back-to-back. She replied that she typed it just as I did - with the hyphen. 

And this is what she received on HER phone.

Both of our perspectives and experiences were equally accurate. 

We are too often swayed into believing that there is a dichotomy  - "Either/Or."

I hope to remember this moment as a foundation for seeking "Both/And."


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