People all over the country debate politics, religion, and morality. My friends? We debate over the location of a bathroom.
Four years ago, two friends and I were at the Rose and Crown Tavern when one asked the other where the bathroom was. The other friend said, “It’s in the back corner.” The one came back from the bathroom and insisted that the bathroom was NOT in the corner. This was debated for the rest of the meal.
Four years to the day later (thanks to Facebook’s on this day feature), the three of us returned to the Rose and Crown, or as we know it, the place where the bathroom is or is not in the corner. We were seated at a table with a straight view to the bathroom. Perfect!
Despite the noise of a tavern, on a Thursday night with Karaoke, the debate produced a healthy discourse. One of my friends said something that I thought was “being right is your perspective.” What she actually said was, “reality is your perspective.” Either way, WOW! Now the bathroom issue is getting somewhere.
Much of our reality, how we experience the world, is viewed only from our own personal perspective. One person may go to a corner bathroom. Another person may go to that same bathroom, but see the hallway that’s 6 feet from the corner as a part of the bathroom, and therefore, it’s not in the corner.
I’m going to go THERE and bring up politics – a very relevant experience of perspective.
You and I could watch the same channel playing the same speech, but our convictions, views, and experiences lead us to very different perspectives. Our reality of that speech can be very different.
“Being right is about your perspective.” Part of what made the bathroom debate last 4 years is the need to be right. Sometimes, we feel like we just have to be right about something and we just can’t allow ourselves to believe that what the other person is saying can possibly be right. We turn simple discussions into competitions where there has to be a winner. That means someone also has to be a loser. Is that really what we want?
In The Journey Training, participants learn to change their “I’m right!” perspective to “I acknowledge your position. This is my position…” This language and perspective change fosters healthy communication with active listening.
What was my position on the bathroom issue you ask? I see BOTH perspectives. The restroom hallway is not in the corner, but the door to the ladies room is in the corner! Just call me Switzerland!