The Left-Brain vs. the Right-Brain
Do you find that you see situations differently from your partner? READ MORE
Here is a situation where two people see the same situation very differently. The left-brained husband is more factual, quick to answer and objective; the right brain reacts without words until the feelings reach the left brain to speak them.
This is an example of a left-brained husband reacting very differently to a situation than his right-brained wife.
Him: Recently, at the ballpark, an acquaintance strolled up and pretended he’d known me forever. His big smile and man-hug put me off, but I smiled and responded in kind. Then he said he’d like to know where my next installations would be so he could “just hang out” with me to learn my processes. He said that he’s starting a similar business. I politely said I didn’t have anything lined up, rather than telling him to take a hike.. The following is the conversation I had with my wife afterward.
Her: How’d you feel when Doug asked about your installations?
Him: Oh, I don’t know, there’s nothing going on right now for him to see.
Her: Sure, things have slowed down. But how’d you feel when he said he wanted to watch and learn how you do your work? You've worked years to streamline how to get a job finished quickly.
Him: It isn’t going to happen.
Her: I know, but how’d you feel?
Him: What do you mean?
Her: Well, it’s interesting to me that you’re onto a solution right from the start. So can you think back to yesterday and how you felt? (smiling)
Him: I was thinking “never happen” so it’s a non-issue. If he thinks I’m going to call him and tell him where I’ll be, that’ll never happen. (pause) Why, how’d you feel?
Her: I’ve been annoyed about it for the past 12 hours. I thought Doug was rude. I wanted him to praise your expertise and ask permission to get some insight from you if you weren’t too busy. Since feelings don’t muddy up the experience for you, you are able to neatly package the “problem” and just come up with an answer, like "It's never going to happen." I'm still mad and you're already on to the next thing.
Him: She’s right; I’m objective in the moment--that is I'm not aware of how I feel. I wasn't mad, I just wasn't going to help him. But after listening to my wife, I thought I probably was put off by his assuming he could just copy me and start his own business in competition with me. Then I realized a lot of people probably helped me when I was getting started, so I should probably help him. If he calls me and I’ve got something going, I guess I’ll tell him where to meet me.
NOTE: The left brain changes quickly, with logic and more input. The right brain changes slowly, with experience. Feelings come quickly , but are slower to get to the left-brain language that can conclude and speak.
What do you think? How would you feel about the situation? How do you think this couple would argue about something personal? Tell us in the comments!