One of the things that seems to cause us the most trouble in life is the fact that we get blinded by our biases.
We have ways of seeing the world, ways of seeing other people and ways of seeing situations that cloud our thinking because we are so fixed in seeing things a certain way.
One of my biases and ways of seeing the world is about parenting.
For example, I have my ideas about what a good parent is and if you were to line up a thousand different people and asked them the same question, I’m sure we would all have radically different ideas about how to be the best parent possible.
Having biases is normal and it’s only a problem if your bias gets in the way of creating the best relationships or life possible.
It’s only a problem if you think yours is the ONLY way something has to be.
If there is something in your relationship or life that you want that you don’t have, then you are blinded by something.
You just don’t see what that is at the moment.
The question is, what do you want?
How do you tell if you are biased about something and it’s interfering with your relationships?
Anytime you are in the land of the “Shoulds” then this is a BIG clue you are operating from a bias or fixed point of view.
“He should wear a mask.”
“She should go see her mother more often.”
“He should save more money.”
“If she loved me she should_______________”
…Are just a few biases or ways we see the world and think others should as well.
While it makes complete sense to us, it may not to someone else or the way he or she wants to live their life.
The truth is these biases can KILL love, passion and connection without us even realizing it because we are judging and saying the other person isn’t okay.
So what do you do when something feels “true” to you but the other person doesn’t see it that way?
Here are a few things I’ve seen around biases…
When I open to seeing that another’s point of view might be just as valid as mine and maybe right for them, I open the door to connection.
I can get curious instead of holding onto judgment.
I can listen with more presence.
While I may not adopt that belief or want to live that way, maybe the edges of my bias and judgments soften a little.
A very, very small example of this is how Susie and I separate and fold clean laundry.
After the clothes have been washed and dried, we take the baskets to our bedroom and dump the clean clothes on our bed.
Susie has one way to separate and fold them and I have another.
For a long time, I silently (and sometimes not so silently) judged her that her way was wrong.
It didn’t make sense to me!
It was all backwards!
As I’ve seen how judgments and biases held so tightly do a number on connection and love, I had a novel idea…
Maybe her way was just as good as my way!
Now I still separate the laundry the way I like but without all those judgments of her–which feels really freeing to me.
Is this a make or break moment in our relationship? Probably not.
But all those judgments can add up and that’s how resentments and separation happen to kill perfectly fine relationships.
So my suggestion to you is if any “shoulds” come up about someone else, take a step back to see what bias you’re holding onto.
Open to that other person to understand where he or she is coming from.
Open to a deeper connection without judgment and see how much love is available.