When Negative Assumptions Take Hold
Have you ever assumed that you know everything about somebody, down to the answers they will give to any question, or the way they’ll react in any given scenario?
Do you find yourself drawn to other people instead, signing out of the first relationship because you are suddenly more interested by the unknown and the unpredictable?
Once curiosity dies, things can seem boring in any type of relationship – romantic or otherwise. There’s nothing like an unexpected response or, even better, unexpected depth behind a response, to remind you that you never in fact know everything about another person.
If you really think about it, you can never actually know everything about yourself. I lose count of the number of times people (including myself) have been surprised by what they’ve felt and the things they’ve discovered about their own depths once given the space to truly explore.
Ironically, we often assume that connection is about sameness, and that being similar to somebody else, or indeed knowing everything about them, means we’ll either get on with them or we won’t. That assumption is what keeps us feeling safe.
But it’s not always the case that true connection lies in a sort of predictable sameness. Often, seeing something unexpected in another, whether they’re like us or not (and whether we like them or not), can be crucial for connecting not only with the other person, but also with an unknown part of ourselves.
That’s the beauty of Imago dialogue. It’s a way of uncovering those unknown, undiscovered parts of both Self and Other, and as a result, connecting from a deeper more meaningful place.
Imago dialogue also helps two people to understand how disconnection happens, and to gradually validate the other person’s originally “irrational” reaction so that it becomes understandable and rational.
I was recently working with a couple who came up with the term ‘Dialogue Light’ to signify the simpler, lighter form of the Imago dialogue used in relationship therapy.
‘Dialogue Light’ is where you start off by talking about a very surface, even slightly silly subject. You may talk about the hearth in the living room, or the curtains at the window. You might be in a café and start talking about cappuccinos or at the beach talking about waves or sand.
What’s fascinating about Dialogue Light is that even the most obscure, boring sounding topic can provide a whole new window into both of your lives simultaneously. It shines a light on hidden thought processes, nostalgia provoking moments and feelings that were previously misunderstood.
By starting with a subject that is Light and not conducive to conflict or discomfort, you find yourselves revealing and discovering opinions, memories, connections and surprises you never knew were there.
Dialogue Light can help stale relationships to become fresh again. It’s a bit like that feeling where you meet somebody for the first time, and you feel like you could talk all night, getting to know them forever. It helps create that relationship where nothing is ever “known” and everything could have a more positive, symbolic meaning than is originally assumed.
How can Dialogue Light be used?
Dialogue Light can be used with your partner, your boss, your child, your parent, your friend….in fact, any relationship that you are interested in focusing on with the intention of deepening.
Get in touch with Soul Focus Therapy to find out more. Dialogue Light can be taught online or offline, in a one off session or a series of sessions for couples, friends, family members or colleagues.