Third Side of the Story

Conflict resolution work reminds me daily that there are three (or more) sides to every story. Mediation usually involves two people who bring different perspectives.  Based on where each person stands, their story is the truth. However, in any situation, particularly when emotions are high, it may be a challenge for the people involved to see the full picture. 

Even when emotions do not impact the view, it may be difficult to notice everything. Looking at a giraffe may be an easy example. If one person stands at the front of a giraffe and another at the back, they are going to notice different things. Each person’s description will be the truth, just not the full truth. 

Where you stand determines what you see. Of course, past experiences may also impact how you view something. While your experience may be your truth, someone else’s experience may be a different truth, and neither of you may be able to see the full truth. 

Some security and comfort may result from being “right.” However, the attachment to being “right” may also lead to disconnection and misunderstanding. There may be chance that two people who disagree may both be technically right, while each misses a very important third side of the story. 

How you do you view the story? What else might be true?

A civil and family mediator, peace builder, and educator, Sherry Ann Bruckner lives in Alexandria, Minnesota. Visit brucknermediation.com/services to learn more or call Sherry at (320) 808-3212 for help to transform conflict and create peace.

As always, be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.