Sometimes we’re too close to an issue to see clearly. And like walking through a dark room, it becomes increasingly frustrating when we can’t seem to resolve the pressing issues right in front of us. It’s helpful in these moments to step back and try to see the larger picture. This sheds new light on our dilemma and likely provides greater clarity as we try to find our way forward.
For instance, many couples complain about communication issues in their marriage. And often polishing our communication skills is very helpful. At the same time, breakdowns in communication are often connected to bigger issues than the mere technical skills of talking with each other.
For example, if we don’t trust each other, it doesn’t matter how well we can actually communicate. Conversations and our relationship will eventually break down without mutual trust.
Likewise, our communication might also suffer whenever we’re speaking a different language or have a different worldview as it were. For instance, we’re sure to have many conflicts whenever we have differing philosophies on money, parenting, sex, religion, and the like.
Here again, communication skills are not the main issue, but rather our shared understanding and approach to life. As such, it does little good to keep trying to improve our communication. We need to take a step back and deal with the larger issues at play.
And, of course, this applies to work, family drama, public policies, and any other area of life in which conflicts are present. Wherever we find ourselves stuck on an issue it’s good to step back and consider the larger context of the problem.
This larger frame gives us better understanding on the original issue and allows us to get closer to the true heart of the matter rather than just spinning our wheels.
In the end, don’t stay stuck repeating the same conflict and expecting different results. Take a step back and see the larger picture. This shines new light on your situation and gives you greater clarity and wisdom in moving forward.