How Our Interpretations Get Us in Trouble


Do you ever find yourself seething as a result of a story you tell yourself about what happened, like the furious woman pictured here?

We all make interpretations about our lives. Something happens to us and then our mind tells us a story about what happened. And if you are in a relationship with someone you love, you may be constantly interpreting what your partner does to you and why.

This is just something to look at. And if this article helps, great. But when I learned about my own interpretations, I thought it was very useful, and maybe these thoughts will be useful to you as well.

I often do this, where my husband will do or say something, I will feel something and then I will wonder why he said or did what he did. Maybe when I explain it this way you can understand it too.

Do Your Interpretations Involve Blame?

The stories we tell ourselves may not match reality, leaving us angry over things disconnected from reality, like the angry woman pictured blaming someone else.

What I learned is that we are having an experience with our loved one. That’s it. Just having an experience. This happens inside of us. We feel something. Then we look for an explanation on why or what or how it happened. And when we do this, we are using our mind to discuss it.

Our experience happens inside of us. Our explanation occurs outside of us. We look at our mate or our surroundings to make sense of what just occurred. This is our interpretation of our experience.

Everyone does this. It’s kind of how humans are wired. But if we are apt to blame our mate for causing something inside of us, well we might want to re-examine what it is we do with our own mind.

What Does Your Story Add to the Situation?

Do the stories you tell yourself help the situation, or do they lead to harm and frustration like that experienced by the upset woman pictured?

If we are easily bothered by their actions, we might benefit by looking at what we are adding to the experience. Are we telling ourselves a story of what they did, how they did it, why would they do such a thing, etc.? We might even wonder how they didn’t know that we wouldn’t care for what occurred, and they did it anyway.

Do you see how our own minds can get us all tied up in believing something about someone we love who probably didn’t do what they did to hurt us? This is very common with people who live close together.

We expect to be happy all the time. But we live in our own bodies and minds and not theirs. They probably expect to live happily all the time too and wonder about us.

Pausing, Rethinking, and Asking Without Blame Can Help

Pausing and being considerate, like the couple pictured, can help you fight less and be happier.

Why not try and see what we might do to antagonize the situation? If we are making up a whole lot of story of how they did that to us, because they feel a certain way, well we might want to rethink how we interpret what happened.

And if we are convinced that they might have done something to us, why don’t we just ask them? “Hey, did you leave the refrigerator door open to make me mad?”

We might be horrified to hear you say, “No, Sweet One, it was an accident.”


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'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Learn how to keep perspective positive and productive while talking to your partner, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might help both of you feel closer, happier, and more loved. Give it a read.

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