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Feelings are good. They are instructive, often, and very helpful.
But feelings don’t always tell the truth.
Sometimes, you need your brain to do that.
In my relationship with David, I have probably avoided hundreds or thousands of arguments with just one tactic, and it is this:
I use my brain.
I let myself feel whatever I feel after the thing that annoyed or upset me occurs.
Then I think about it for a while.
First, I ask myself whether what my feelings are telling me about him right then are true. Then, if the answer is yes (which it usually isn’t), I take it one step further:
I ask myself whether it is worth arguing about.
Is it worth the bad feelings we’ll both have if I bring it up? I ask. Is it worth ruining our whole night for?
Maybe, I think, I’ll wait ’till tomorrow to bring it up.
More often than not, though, tomorrow never comes, and I forget all about it, and there is no argument at all. And that is what understanding yourself does for you:
It alters the course of your future.
It is a superpower.
Of course, most likely, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Most of the people I know can diagnose each other’s problems with their relationships, their finances and their negative attitudes very quickly and very accurately—sometimes after knowing the person for only a short time.
So why can’t we all do that more easily with ourselves?
We need to be able to do the same for ourselves.