Ben and Nancy were at home one evening when something happened that shook them up. This was not the first time either. The weekend had gone well, they cooked dinner together, danced, talked, made love and were in excellent spirits as Sunday evening rolled around. Nancy was (in her mind) kidding him in her usual acerbic sarcastic way and Ben was starting to smart from (what he thought) was the rather biting banter. As he was reeling back from the situation, he posited in the most benign fashion that she was being a bit tough on him. Nancy boiled over immediately exclaiming that she was just “playing” and why didn’t he take it in the way it was intended. Ben argued that it was not fun for him and that she was sabotaging the intimacy with him by doing this. It seemed to him that every time they did get to this place that she went after him this way. There they were at opposite ends of the reality spectrum. They argued at length about it as Ben kept trying to make his point convinced that Nancy was at fault and she vehemently countered to maintain her innocence. They finally agreed that they didn’t agree. They were seeing and experiencing the same situation from entirely different points of view and their sense of reality was black and white.
When they arrived for their session they were still in it. As they looked at the issues confronting them, it became clear that they both came to the situation differently. What emerged was that indeed Nancy did like that sense of freedom and comfort she got from expressing her sardonic sense of humor affectionately both to protect her vulnerability while doing something that was in her mind, fun. Ben, for his part was misidentifying her behavior as negative because in his background sarcasm was a form of criticism and judgment. Seeing what was going on from both of their different points of view enabled them to reconnect. Once Ben could see it from Nancy’s perspective he understood better that she was converting her need for intimacy to sarcasm because she was sensitive to the closeness. It didn’t mean that she was sabotaging but expressing her love and affection through being sarcastic and playful. Ben recognized that when they got close his sensitivity level rose and he was much more likely to react negatively.
In my work with couples and individuals I encounter people who do not seem to grasp their own sense of reality.. Read More : http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-bill-cloke/you-say-potato-and-i-say-_b_5569085.html