Finger-pointing… the three fingers of truth.
A friend of mine, a psychologist, told me once that "Whenever someone is pointing fingers at somebody else there’s always three fingers pointing back at them."
What she meant by this is, often times we judge people based on our own introjections (self-judgements) and put onto another those negative judgements (projections) making that other person responsible for our feelings (cognitive distortions).
Example: I give you a Christmas present because I love you. You think I’m trying to buy your love because you don't feel the same about me. I call you to see how you’re doing, you think I’m being nosy. I try to share my life with you, you think I’m just judging you, showing off, or trying to control you. These negative projections are subconsciously placed onto another person because they steep from past hurts, hangups, or abuses. These actions can result in broken relationships and you living a lie you created on your own, but blaming the other person. Meanwhile, the other person is hurt wondering what happened. A person can have all the sincerity in the world and be sincerely wrong. Feelings are not fact. Even God had to deal with this human flaw as stated in the Bible,
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9 New International Version (NIV)
In order words, my way may not be your way; and your way may not be my way. It doesn't mean either way is right or wrong. It's just different. We are different. By design, there are no two of us that are the same. Even TWINS can have different preferences and beliefs. If we learn to appreciate other people's differences, we can appreciate their perspective, even if it doesn't "feel" right to us. When someone refuses to accept the differences, they get caught up in a power struggle and agreements become problematic.
When one person demands another person to do it their way and their way only, they are trying to control that person. The first person is constantly attacking, is hyper-critical, and demanding, even to the point of abusive. The second tries to defend their good intentions, their ethical standards, or show evidence of innocence and they fight against the false allegations brought on by the first. They know it was never there intention, their purpose, or their desire to hurt the other. The fact that you were hurt was a result of your own interjections. Unresolved conflict continues because both people see themselves as the victim.
When you sense conflict in your communications, look for evidence in the present to support what you see and hear. Also, give them grace by forgiving and leaving the pains of the past in the past. This way we can truly find happiness in in our relationships.