A perception is an opinion or belief that may be erroneous and untested. Perceptions are one of the main causes of conflict or break-ups in relationships.
Our personal belief of what the other person did or did not do and our understanding of that, often leads to anger, hurt, and frustration.
Ref: Margolies L.2019:
Resentment builds up because our perception of the other person’s intention is accepted as truth by us, not addressed or not matched up against their actual intent.
Factors such as our upbringing, anxieties, insecurities, inflexibilities, and personal negative experiences can be mistaken by others to be controlling, narcissistic and oppositional.
Understanding, acknowledging and seeking help for these weaknesses, can help resolve relationship conflicts.
Margolies points out the following factors that make us arrive at wrong conclusions:
We assume that everyone thinks like us. But each person is unique with his/her own strengths, weaknesses and differences. We cannot equate ourselves with the other person in a specific situation. We become resentful when the other person does not do what we think we would do in that situation.
Personalising and confusing your own feelings with the other person’s intent is wrong. If someone triggered a feeling in you, it does not mean that was their intention or that they don’t care about your feelings.
If a husband is distracted and appears emotionally distant because of a work project, it may be interpreted by the wife as loss of interest or rejection. If the wife then responds by being cold, a cycle of tension develops between them.
Pathological certainty is a fixed mindset about the other person. Being prejudiced, stereotyping and generalising can lead to wrong conclusions. In turn this leads to confrontation and conflict.
We need to be tolerant and seek an understanding of where the other person is coming from psychologically and why they behave the way they do.
Respectful consultation with the view to understanding behavior can correct wrong assumptions and lead to positive change.