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More Guiding Principles

medium_285609610You can’t argue with another person’s perceptions.

This Guiding Principle is closely related to “feelings aren’t facts.” You can’t argue with another person’s perceptions guides and reminds me that we’re all individuals. Each person has his or her own per­ceptions designed by that individual’s survival programming, with its unique interpretations. Those interpretations are the stories that he or she made up and that shape that person’s unique perceptions, just as the stories in my programming shape mine.

When my perception of a situation differs from someone else’s, my Guiding Principle about not being able to argue with another person’s perceptions helps me to realize that instead of attempting to invalidate the other person’s perception, I need to respect it and discuss our different perceptions with the goal of learning to be attuned to each other. This is part of creating mutually fulfilling relationships.


Conflicting feelings can coexist peacefully until they are coupled with actions.

This Guiding Principle reminds me how to behave appropriately when I find myself in disagreement with another person. The fact that my feelings about something are in conflict with those of another person won’t lead to war as long as we don’t act out this conflict of feelings. We can express our feelings, but if we start ver­bally attacking each other, trying to dominate each other, or, on the other hand, withholding ourselves to punish each other for having feelings that conflict with the other person’s, we’ll create a state of war that can damage the relationship.


An excerpt from my recent book, Your Mind Is What Your Brain Does for a Living, now available at Amazon.


photo credit: Michał Dubrawski via photopin cc

  • 22 Jan, 2015
  • Posted by Steve Fogel
  • 8 Tags

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