How Can Relationships Improve?

Cognitive Dissonance theory and improved communication

Business Leader Post, January 24, 2012

Thomas D. Davidow, Ed.D.

I promised that I would explain how one could let go of their emotions as it relates to the past and create a new history. Cognitive Dissonance is when your belief system is contradicted by your experience. For example if you have prejudicial feelings towards a particular group of people and you have a positive experience with a member of that group you are caught in dissonance. One need to reduce that discomfort and one way to reduce the dissonance is to let go of your belief system and have reality triumph.

Relationships and perceptions of those people that you are involved with can also change through the experience of positive interaction with the individual that you are in conflict with. That positive experience can come through improved communication techniques where the messages sent to one another are the same but packaged differently. Obviously this is much easier said than done. Family relationships have both a strength and weakness in their capacity to change. The patterns can be very deep and difficult to change but at the same time the motivation to change is very high.

There are many resources out there that talk about communication and can teach you how to interact differently and more effectively— check them out.