We live in a society that has defined “reality” through scripted moments of #hashtags and curated social media feeds. Think about it, have you ever hung out with someone who insists his or her thought process is the only way to see something? Irritating isn’t it? Why can’t they think the way you do? Three different people who all witness the same accident and have three different perceptions or interpretations of what actually happened. The challenge with perception is that people have the freedom to think the way they do. How you perceive your situation will affect your behavior? For the benefit of this article, let’s use perception as the way you “see” with your mind.
When attempting to step into the realm of your partner you are required to both understand or empathizing with their core values. Core values influence how you think, feel and behave. These core values will help identify what is most important to your partner and show how they perceive what to value or toss by the wayside. Imagine the amount of number fights you could have avoided, if you took time to understand your partner’s point of view. Something that seems so small to you actually has a major level of importance over your partner’s perception.
Perception is more than tapping into your sensory experience –touch, taste, hearing, sight and smell. In order to fully understand perception there is a need to align with the core values. Core values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) help determine your priorities. In addition, deep down core values probably measure your use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.
By coupling perception and core values you activate deeply held needs within an individual. Trying to guess how these two dynamics function can provide light in a dark space or drain us emotionally. This is why I tell my clients, change your perception and you have the capacity to chance in your situation. The situation may not change, but it may cause you to change. Yes, even if you see your partner as the “biggest jerk” that is no longer in touch with their own feelings.
It is helpful to take stock your core values, while understanding how they affect or drive your behavior in relationships. Believe it or not, most people do not know their core values or what drives their behavior. Knowing your core values are painfully aware of what makes you upset, sad, empowered or helpless. Do you struggle with self-awareness regarding what that means? Well, don’t feel bad because its common. Many find it is difficult to articulate to a partner why leaving their underwear were left on the floor just sent them through the roof.
Here are a few examples of core values that can be used for the scenario above:
- Community – “This house is an equal opportunity, kindly keep up the the common area. There is no maid service here.”
- Respect – Please understand “everyone works in this house.” Pick up after yourself.
- Violated – …because we perceive our partner does not care! Yes, this concept of perception and core values will happen within moments. Add previous history into the mix then couples find themselves on the verge of divorce because the trash was not taken out.
Helpful ways to figure out your core values:
If you’re having trouble getting started, use questions below to help jumpstart your process:
- What shapes your behavior? (Start by thinking about things that get you mad and upset.)
- What are you passionate about?
- What do you absolutely love to do?
- What motivates your achievements?
As an alternative, you can utilize a Google search to find a list of a 100 to 1000 words. Identify your top 5. Keep in mind core values are not about what other people think of you, but what you think of yourself. For example, if everyone thinks your integrity is at level 10, but you know the truth — if given the right opportunity, you are not a keeper of your word. Then integrity is not one of your core values.
Moral of the story, perception and core values shape the way we see life and each other. Take time to find your true self by identifying your core values and have fun!