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Why Two People Looking at the Same Thing Can See Something Different

The information below is not to be taken as professional advice or direction. Application of this information is solely at your discretion. Consultation with a counsellor is highly recommended. Phone 07 34581735/0409272115

It seems extremely strange that two people can be looking at the same thing yet see it differently. As human beings, we tend to think that how we see things is “normal” and anybody you doesn’t see it the way we do is “not normal, irrational or just plain weird”. So an understanding of why people see things differently from you should go some way towards reducing conflict.

We are indeed unique human beings. You properly heard that before, but you know what it means? We are all born with two parents who determine some of our personality through the genetic code that they pass on to us. We are raised in a family who has a particular ethnic background, a particular social, economic environment, and demonstrates love and acceptance either totally, partially, infrequently or in some cases not at all. All of this impacts our beliefs in our view of life. Then we go out into the world and experience the world. The things that happen to us in the world also form our beliefs, expectations and our perceptions. And then we arrive at the appointed time were at and when we look at something which is happening we view it through the filters of our beliefs, expectations and perceptions. And this filter is unique for each of us.

A brilliant demonstration of this can be seen in the making of a movie. Not all scenes are filmed on location. Many movies are filmed the studio. Movies are filmed using what’s called a green screen. The action is done on the stage in front of the green screen. If you look at the action itself with a green background behind it, you wonder what’s going on.

It’s only when the movie producer puts the images on the green screen do we have a full understanding of the context of the action.

What if each of us was observing the action in our lives and around us and that action was being played in front of a green screen. Each one of us can look at the same action in front of the green screen and yes we are looking at the same thing. However, it is us as an individual as a unique individual that projects onto the green screen the picture that gives the action its context and therefore its meaning to us. And if each of us is projecting a slightly different event on the green screen that is easy to understand why we’re looking at the same thing but seeing something different. The only way that I can understand another person’s way of interpreting the world is to get to know the other person’s beliefs, expectations and perceptions.

While this requires a certain amount of skill, it’s not impossible and certainly essential for couples wanting to build a strong relationship. Find it how to do this see the article “how to have a conversation with minimal conflict”.

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