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Monday, September 10, 2018

Doing It My Way: Is It The Best Way or The Best Way For You?

As a parent, a significant other, part of a larger family and employee, over time, I've seen people of all ages and situations insist things be done their way as their way is the best way (or the only good way) and made some observations.

Sometimes the way people insist or wish to do something is based on their comfort zone.  I've previously dealt with the subject of people having their comfort zones and how it relates to relationships.    That is, the place where others, especially a significant other, doesn't agree with your way, but gives you the space to do it your way because that's the way your are comfortable doing it.

If a partner's comfort zone in a relationship is say staying out all night, going who knows where, not making themselves available and coming back home with clues that they haven't exactly been well-behaved; having them do it there way might just be a bit problematic.   But, I'm really addressing the more day to day/getting along concerns.  In that vein, here are a few things to consider in determining if each other's way is suitable for your relationships.
  • Is there only one good way to accomplish or do something or more?
    • There are many different variations and ways of  making lasagna.  Some recipes may deemed better than others, but there are a number of recipes that will allow you to make a good lasagna.  Insisting on one way in this case, could be be being unnecessarily strict.
    • To go from O'Fallon, Missouri to Columbia, Missouri there is really one one good path.  That is to say, the best and only practical way is to drive I70 West.  Insisting on going that route vs. another could be considered being sensible vs illogical.
  • Is it a matter of comfort only--the way one is used to--or is it a matter of not being wired to accomplish the goal a different way?
    • The cooking examples:  Some people are just not very good at cooking complex dishes. You can walk them through cooking a complex dish step by step, but for whatever reason, they will not be able to navigate it successfully.  In other words, while they can cook, but cooking is not one of their strength. So, trying to push them too hard to cook anything more than a simple dish will probably end up in frustration for everyone.
    • Conversely, sometimes a person has never effectively been shown or told how they can do something more effectively, but it is well within their capacity to do it successfully. For example, if you aren't used to packing for vacations, you may not really know the most effective way of packing.  That very well could be something within your abilities, but just something you haven't had enough guidance/practice to do effectively.
  • Is doing the goal a different/'less effective' way risky or otherwise problematic or is it just a big deal to the your other party?  
    • For example, if time isn't an issue, you might feel more comfortable driving a certain route.  It may not be the most efficient, but really if it doesn't add too much time or distance, what does it really matter?   It may matter to the other party who doesn't approve of it, but isn't that more on them?
    • Conversely, you might under great pressure to be somewhere at a certain time and the only way to ensure that you reach your destination on time is to go a certain route.  In that case, it makes sense for your other party to insist you take that route vs. an alternative route you might prefer.
    •  Another example is determining whether loading up the car a certain way risks damaging the contents you packed or is it just not necessarily the most space efficient, when space isn't an issue?  In the first case, it could/would be best to insist that the packing is done differently.  In the second case, it might not be that big of a deal and might be a disagreement worth having.

We all have our ways.  We often like to think our way is the 'best' way and when it is just us individually, then we have to deal with the positive or negative consequences of our choice or way.  However, when another is involved, we have to take into account their thoughts, needs and concerns.  We can't just be a puppet of another and always do it their way, we have to have some space or rights to have our way considered and accepted.  As they say, some battles are worth having and some aren't.  Just some thoughts to consider.