I would like to explore options of how I could continue working with this.
Last Saturday my partner and her sister had a conversation about her experience of the usage of technology in everyday life – specifically in her life. We – my parents, their parents and myself were sitting at the dinner table.
She expressed, that she would prefer to keep and use a dumb phone all her life but feels pressured to move on with having to have new tech devices as banks and other providers are shifting services to apps and mobile services. She feels under pressure and regularly expresses desperation, frustration, anger, sadness, powerlessness and many more “negative” feelings about the overall development of digitization of our societies. She would prefer to have everything stay how it used to be 20 years ago and not see the world change. Well, my partner has quite the opposite opinion on this, as he is a tech fan and loves tech innovation, new devices and is working in this field as well as IT admin. They got into a – for me loud and intense – conversation – I would say fight – about it. I observed that they were not listening to each other, but each one just wanting to be seen in the righteousness of ther perspective. Through the entire coversation I could feel myself tensing up. I had many thoughts such as:
Why can’t they just listen to each other?
He is so judgemental.
She is always the one that is being put down.
She is not accepted with her perspective.
This is not going anywhere.
This is just such a waste of time of spending time together.
Why can’t he just let her be who she is?
I want them to stop.
I just want to leave.
This is so frustrating.
She needs support.
I could coach her. But I shouldn’t.
Why is this so upsetting to me?
This is creating so much tension for everybody here in the room.
Yet again, a fight between the two creating this awkward atmosphere.
I felt like I wanted to support her in a way especially to be seen and acknowledged, and was very much irritated by a statement of my partner.
He eventually said: “Why would you think that way? This is simply stupid.”
My mind went to this thought: Why doesn’t my partner allow his sister to be who she is – without judging her? Literally going to “He is not doing it right.”
Here is my model on that one:
C – Partner said: “Why would you think that way? This is simply stupid.”
T – Why can’t he let her be who she is?
F – angry
A – signaled non-verbally to him to stop talking and let her speak. I eventually said: why don’t you let her answer that question “Why would you think that way?” I fell pretty much silent for the rest of the evening, when I went to bed I pushed away all of these feelings and thoughts about this conversation to that I could fall asleep. I dond’t process the feelings I had during the conversation.
R – I didn’t really allow my partner to be who he is and referring to a manual thought “he should listen,” I wanted him to change to feel better, I created anger on top of feeling insecure about how to handle this loud, dynamic, verbal exchange that simply didn’t feel good in my body, I didn’t allow space to explore that experience for me.
I am seeing the manual topic with my partner and the challenge I have to sit with – from my perspective – more intense, loud and not empathetic conversations between people. It did create a lot of resentment against my partner for me and making it difficult for me to now and acknowledge his perspective on this.
I wonder if you are seeing something different here? Do you have any suggestions on how I could continue working with this?
I wish I could feel compassion for both, my partner and his sister, and find it really difficult to let go of the idea that they should find a better mode of talking and relating to each other with more empathy. Which is interesting because I don’t have any siblings, so basically have no idea how this kind of relationship can play out. From the outside and my perspective their relationship feels so stuck, as this “conflict” topic has been around for ever since I got to know my partner, 16 years ago. How could I be just with what is? But still stay true to myself and experience what is arising for me and bring that up in the conversation and relationship that I have with both of them?
Looking forward to your support with this! Thanks a lot in advance.