We do what makes sense to us. And other people operate in a similar way. This is why what makes perfect sense to us seems so completely irrational to the other.
To be sure, there are times in which a person is either objectively right or wrong. But many of our disagreements are in our approach.
We both ultimately want the same (or very similar) things, but we differ in how we go about achieving it. And of course our way seems to make the most sense.
In time, we grow frustrated believing if the other truly cared they would agree on our approach. And because they don’t we assume they’re ignorant, selfish, or outright malicious.
And likely they feel the same way about us – leaving us stuck merely shouting words at each other and unable to move the conversation forward.
We can start to get unstuck by remembering we have different perspectives and ways of making sense of the world.
What seems rational to us is irrational to the other, and vice versa.
For example, buying bottle water, ultrarunning, or voting for a particular political party or candidate can all seem irrational on the outside. But there’s a reason these decisions are being made.
This is not to say the decisions are completely understood or even conscious. But they’re also not necessarily irrational just because we don’t understand the logic being used.
While we can all benefit from making more conscious choices, we do well to honor that we each have different yet equally valid reasons for making our decisions.
Hold on to what makes sense to you as you also learn to listen and discern the logic of the other. This provides richer insights and allows us to take a meaningful step forward.