I was very interested when we discussed perception in

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I was very interested when we discussed perception in class. I’ve been realizing
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that I probably have been perceiving my mother’s comments as attacks, when she means them as constructive criticism. “The Look” (when I’m talking to her and she’s not listening to what I say because she’s too busy wondering what I decided to put on my head for decoration that day) use to instantly boil my blood. This class made me realize that she wasn’t doing these things to make me feel bad about myself. She was saying these things to help me be the best I could in her eyes. When I was in the process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting people, objects, events, situations, and activities, I already had a preconceived idea of what she was saying. I wasn’t levelheaded in listening at all. My perception was so tainted that even if she had a good point, I wouldn’t listen because I automatically got in defense mode. I learned that I needed to change my perception if we were ever going to improve our relationship. My plan to change this was to try looking at her comments from her point of view. This actually worked really well! When she would say things like, “You’re going to put make-up on right?” I would respond by saying, “Thanks for looking out for my best interest. Who doesn’t look better with a little make-up on right?” In reality, it’s not that she’s embarrassed of me, but in her eyes I have the potential to be beautiful, so why not be? And I see her point now. It took me a little while to understand that she doesn’t know how else to say it. And part of it was my fault because I had been defensive for so long. I decided to let my guard down and listen to what she really is saying instead of what my mind was molding her words into. Once I implemented this plan, positive results within myself were noticed. Even if the criticizing comments didn’t decrease because of this, I understood better why they were being said in the first place. And it made me realize that she really is just trying to
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help me be the best I can be. I found that my mother and I were using the competitive style of conflict . Instead, we should be engaged in the collaborative style. I feel like that would be the most effect way for us to improve the contention we feel sometimes. We have been use to using the win/lose approach. We were both aggressive and uncooperative. We used direct confrontation, which is intimidating and doesn’t set you up for good communication. If we have a high concern for the other person and we work together to find a new solution, things will be better. So I decided to try it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to apply this. But I wanted to improve the style of communication when we were presented with conflict, which was pretty often. I decided to present a different solution than what either of our first instinct was. For example, on Black Friday, I liked a certain pattern on an oversized sweater I really wanted. She wanted to get me a sweater like it for Christmas, but she liked one with another pattern better. Since it was her money, I wanted her to like it enough to enjoy spending her money on it.
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