Resolving Conflict

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase 'each other' doesn't make any sense." --Rumi
Mother-daughter relationships can be among the most difficult to navigate.

Just yesterday I was working with a client who was struggling with her relationship with her grown daughter. She didn't understand how her daughter could be so angry with her when all she wanted was understanding and connection. 

The harder she tried to connect, the angrier her daughter became. Mom was feeling frustrated, scared and very sad. After all, she really loved her daughter and only wanted the best for her.

Digging a little deeper, we discovered that Mom's way of helping her daughter "understand" was coming from this mindset: "I have to convince her that I'm right."

Which inevitably led to, "I just need to find another way to say this so that she will understand that I am right."

Well, maybe she IS right. But that mindset will not help her relationship.

The trouble with that kind of right-or-wrong thinking is that it requires someone to be wrong. And no one likes to be wrong. It's natural for someone to build walls of defensiveness in order to keep from feeling the shame and hopelessness of being "wrong."

As long as I'm trying to convince you of my "right" position, I am unable to hear, much less accept, you and your point of view. And two people defending their "rights" will only lead to higher and thicker walls being built between them.

So here's the question: Which is more important, your viewpoint or your relationship?

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." --St. Paul