All of us have psychological blind spots if you haven’t read specifically what yours are I suggest you take my quiz and get your individual results. Blind spots are aspects of our personalities that are obvious to everyone but ourselves. You complain to your girlfriend, “I need him to treat me with respect” after having corrected your husband in public for the 10th time. You confess to your buddy, “I don’t know why she doesn’t trust me” after you’ve checked out every woman walking by in the bar. If you saw other people in these situations, you would see the obvious, but it’s tough to see yourself clearly.
Seeing your psychological blind spots is like seeing the back of your head: tough to do. The best way to uncover your blind spots is to look into the rear view mirror of your relationships. Think back to the feedback you’ve gotten from your exes—the things they criticized you for, the times you got defensive, and the painful fights you’ve had. When your new girlfriend called you “selfish,” perhaps it hurt because she wasn’t the first woman who described you that way and you couldn’t deny the evidence.
The problem with seeing your blind spots is your denial keeps you blind. It’s easy to be defensive, to blame your partner, and to protest that it can’t be true. But what if it is?
Common blind spots are:
- Being controlling and demanding
- Being passive and uninvolved
- Not being able to say “I’m sorry”
- Making unilateral decisions in your relationship
- Being critical
- Sending mixed messages
Psychological blind spots manifest themselves in behaviors that others see and respond to. Take being critical. You convince yourself that your partner needs to know that you disapprove of how they use their fork. Are you surprised when your good intentions to educate your partner about proper eating has a negative impact? Your partner feels judged and pulls away from you. Is your critical behavior working to get you the love you want? How many people are looking for a partner whose top trait is described as “critical?” Sign me up!
Are you a woman who sends mixed messages? You say, “I love men who pursue me aggressively.” However ,when your boyfriend makes bold gestures, you feel uncomfortable and ask him to stop. Not only is your boyfriend confused about what you like, you fail to communicate how he can ever win with you.
Once you’ve identified your blind spots, the process of changing requires you to move your position from “I” to “you” or “we.” Instead of thinking “What do I want? What do I need?” focus on your partner, “What do you want? What do you need? What do we need as a couple?” Start observing the impact of your behaviors on your partner. If you want to see yourself as loving and caring, the only feedback that this is true comes from your partner. Think: what can I do to make my partner feel more loved?
If your blind spots have caused storms in your relationships it’s time to stop: stop talking, stop defending yourself, and stop blaming your partner. It’s also time to start: start listening, start negotiating, and start being a better partner.