“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
For parents of estranged adult children, this is one of the most practical and powerful tips available to help them in their quest for reconciliation.
While this bit of wisdom didn’t originate with Stephen R. Covey, there’s a very good reason why he made it one of his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Seeking first to understand is rocket fuel for relationships. But as Tina points out in this episode, it’s hard to put “seek first to understand” into practice.
Two of the greatest obstacles for parents of estranged adult children are
1) what Tina calls “the ME filter” and
2) the natural, almost universal tendency toward defensiveness.
Tina urges rejected parents to try to overcome these obstacles, and describes a method of practice with “seek first to understand.” While practice may not make perfect, it definitely makes better.
This habit is one worth developing. For inspiration, listen to the episode using the player below.
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