Who Are These People?

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I have held countless conversations about relationships with all kinds of people and one thing that seems to almost always come up is the comparison of one’s significant other to a group of individuals that represent the norm.

People say things like, “men do this” and “women don’t like that” and “most (fill in the blank) in that situation would do A, B and C” and “any (blank) would feel this way” and so on. There seems to be a group for every sex, race, nationality, religion, creed, sexual orientation, etc. that all behaves the same and are “normal.” And it is this group of normals that significant others are frequently compared to when it comes to evaluating behavior.

Who are these people?

I get generalizations. It is probably human nature to think that the entire world operates the way one’s personal world operates. I remember once asking my brother what he was making for dinner and the answer was “it’s Friday.” He assumed that because everyone he knew ate fish on Fridays, everyone ate fish on Fridays. So, it was perfectly okay to answer my question about food with a day of the week.

The problem was that my brother was wrong. I didn’t grow up eating fish on Fridays. Furthermore, I wasn’t even aware that eating fish on Fridays was a common practice. And had my brother taken the time to think about me and my upbringing - all information he knew - he probably wouldn’t have answered with “it’s Friday.” But he did. He relied on his generalization.

I think the same thing happens in relationships. I think people bring their personal world generalizations into their relationships. Rather than focusing on the one person with whom they are involved and learning how they get down and recognizing that as their norm, they compare their significant other to their personal world generalizations. And many times they are wrong. Wrong because one is expecting their significant other who may come from a different personal world to behave the same way as the people of their own personal world.

Who are these people?

Seriously. Who are these people?

I believe if one takes the time to identify the people behind their personal world generalizations, one might discover that the person they are with is nothing like those people. Hopefully, once one recognizes that the person they are with is not like the people they know, they will let go of the generalizations and embrace their partner.

Every human being can be classified and categorized. At the same time, every human being is a unique independent. In a relationship between two people, I believe those two people are the only two people that matter and everyone is just everyone else. And neither of the two should be held accountable for behavior exhibited by other people that may be nothing like them.

Remember. No always. No never.

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