Elsewhere 49 / Why People Get Defensive in Relationships

Why People Get Defensive in Relationships
We often operate in romantic life under the mistaken view – unconsciously imported from law courts and school debating traditions – that the person who is ‘right’ or has the stronger case should, legitimately, ‘win’ any argument. But this is fundamentally to misunderstand what the point of relationships might be. It is not to defeat an opponent (there are no prizes for ‘winning’ other than self-satisfied loneliness) so much as to try to help each other to evolve into the best versions of ourselves.

There are some good insights in this article. I reread to remind myself that while my perception may be my reality, it isn't necessarily Susans — and that our goal within a relationship is to grow into, and help the other grow into, the best versions of ourselves.

Ahh, the challenges of cohabiting in a very small enclosed space… here are some thoughts on being “right” versus working toward being our best self.

Hot Water
Learning to be yourself sounds easy, but sometimes we get distracted. We get caught up in trying to be what society pressures us to be or what we think other people want us to be. This doesn’t mean that we stubbornly and selfishly push our way through life with nothing but our own interests in mind. What it does mean is that we pay attention to our passions and gifts. We learn our strengths and weaknesses. We figure out what sets our soul on fire.

We continue to struggle to find our unique voice, worried too often about whether we’re doing it “right” or whether it’s selfish to follow that fire. Mountain runner, Zach Miller, writes about staying true to yourself, running your own race and balancing passion with self-control.

Why Only Risk-Takers Find Real Fulfillment
There was a time in history when finding purpose was as easy as eating and sleeping. For tens of thousands of years, in fact, there was no purpose other than survival. We lived in a dangerous environment, and the only way to endure this harshness was to work for it.

"Throughout most of our existence, struggling for survival gave us purpose. There was no room for an existential crisis because we had no choice but to do what was needed. Today, the world is different, but we are not. While we don’t need the danger, we do need liability."

If You Want to Build an Audience, Focus on Mastery Instead of Metrics
Because we’ve quantified nearly every aspect of our lives and made it nearly effortless to capture a person’s attention with selfies, tweets, and status updates, people overvalue metrics and undervalue mastery.

Along similar lines, from a different perspective, we get another reminder to focus on what drives us and to be the best we can be at that. Satisfaction and success comes naturally when we express ourselves sincerely and let go of attachment to meaningless validation metrics.

What we finished reading this week:
The Picture of Dorian Gray — Oscar Wilde
Typee — Herman Melville
Walking a Literary Labryinth: A Spirituality of Reading — Nancy M. Malone

Best thing we ate this week:
“The Works” Gluten Free Waffles at Local Juicery, Flagstaff
Two organic house made gluten-free waffles topped with banana, berries, almond butter, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, and maple syrup.

Susan // Paul