Pha - Northfield, Minnesota
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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When I was nine, I assumed that my parents had a wonderful relationship like Romeo and Juliet before they got married. Even though they had me when they were young, they stuck together like any couple did. All of this and the image that I thought made up a wonderful relationship crashed when I had to step in between my parents one night before my dad was about to hit my mom across the face again. My mom persisted holding her head high, looked directly into my father’s eyes, and asked “Why can’t you explain to me what I am doing wrong?” From that moment on I realized that understanding is a big part in a relationship and it has to be achieved. I believe there is three things an individual need to work towards understanding to have any type of relationship.

My first attempt was asking questions, as I believe to work towards understanding. Observing my parents’ relationship had influenced my thinking in my relationship. I feared that my relationship would be similar to my parents’. However bit-by-bit, I learn my boyfriend was having a difficult time opening to me. He did not share his thoughts or his values when I asked him about a certain topic. He answered vaguely and said that he doesn’t know. Like when I asked, “What do you expect out of me as your girlfriend?” He did not reply. This one question did not stop me from trying to understand his opinions and values.

Listening is the second thing I found to be part of understanding. I realize my lack of listening skills distance me from being closer to my mom. When my mom asked me to call our attorney to ask why some documents involving our recent car accident have not come in the mail yet, I had a hard time understanding the documents she was trying to explain. So I rushed to hang up with her and called the attorney. When the secretary picked up, I struggled with the types of documents my mom was asking about. But I should have listened to my mom carefully instead of rushing her. Now I listened to her carefully after every call she makes. She rarely calls and I tried to have a good conversation with her. So listening is the second thing I believe I learn towards understanding.

Accepting is the third thing, that I believe as an individual should do when it comes to understanding in a relationship. Accepting is acknowledging others opinions, after giving the efforts of asking questions and listening. I come to learn, value, and view other’s perspective to build a stronger relationship with others.

According to dictionary.com, the definition of understanding is to comprehend a subject or topic, to accept sympathetically or tolerantly, and or to be familiar with something. However, my personal definition of understanding is the willing to ask question, listen, and accept. Overall, understanding is part of an individual’s morals. I did not realize that understanding is one of the communication skills I have achieved. I believe that asking questions, listening, and accepting we come to understanding and build better relationships.