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Isn’t it strange how when you meet someone and start developing a relationship you notice your similarities and then as time progresses you then start noticing the differences in each other.
Those differences can then be a source of conflict if not appreciated and understood.
When we first started living together what came to the fore very quickly was the difference in the way in which each of us perceived time.
This may have been a typical conversation about preparing to go out for the evening:
Nicky, “I want to be ready by 730pm so that leaves us with plenty of time to get the restaurant, find a parking space and be there ten minutes before the others arrive”.
Mark, “Yeah, yeah, no problem”
730pm, Nicky is stood by the door looking at her watch,” Mark, its 730pm we’re going to be late if we don’t leave now.”
Mark,” Yes, be right there.”
735pm, Nicky pacing by door,” Mark we are going to be late.”
Mark, “Yes coming straight down, we will still be on time as you built in lots of leeway.”
Nicky decides to use time effectively and starts catching up on some emails. 745pm
Mark gets to front door, “Where are you, I thought you said you were ready.”
Nicky, “I thought I would catch up on some emails whilst I was waiting.”
Mark, “Come on we are going to be late”
Conversations similar to this probably take place between many people in relationships and have the potential to cause conflict.
So how do you reconcile such differences?
The first thing is to understand and appreciate what the actual difference is. In this instance, the difference between us is that Mark is what is known as ‘In time’ and Nicky is ‘Through time’.
Mark being ‘In time’ just gets lost in the moment.
He will always underestimate how long things take to complete, fill his day and probably over promise and under deliver. He appears disorganised by attempting to cram too much in and may be late for things. He loves talking to people aimlessly and time will pass without any real outcomes.
Nicky being ‘Through time’ will always be early.
She will appear well organised and will plan her day effectively. She will under-promise and over-deliver. Nicky will enjoy talking to people yet it will be driven by a purpose.
In order to understand whether you are ‘In time’ or ‘Through time’ you need to first elicit your ‘Time Line’ which is how you store your memories.
Just ask yourself, “Where is my past and where is my future”.
You may say from right to left or front to back or up to down or in some direction from you in relation to your body. And, it’s not your conscious concept you’re interested in it’s your unconscious.
So if you were to ask your unconscious mind where your past is, where would you point? And your future, what direction would you point if you asked your unconscious mind, where is your future?
You may need to ask this a few times and however you do it will be the right way for you.
It will just look, sound or feel right or may just make sense.
Once you have the direction of your future and past just imagine it stretched out as a line and notice whether it goes through your body or passes in front of you.
You are ‘In time’ when your time line goes into/through your body and you are ‘Through time’ if your time line passes in front of you; as you are able to see through time.
So now you have figured out how you store time you can gain an appreciation of situations that may have potential to cause conflict and choose to do something different.
If you are in a relationship and both store time differently you can cut each other some slack.
Gaining this understanding will allow you to communicate better and to come to agreement about how to do things together whilst still meeting individual needs.
You will be able to put strategies in place so that the difference is appreciated without conflict.
We came up with negotiated strategies that mean we both work to our strengths and appreciate our differences.
Time lines can also be contextual so we made amendments and changes to our Time limes to take this into account; this is something that is taught on a Time Line Therapy™ Practitioner course or can be done by a Certified Time Line Therapy™ Practitioner.
To us, life is all about changing and evolving so the more you know about yourself the more successful you will be in your relationships with yourself and others.
So push your boundaries and learn something new about yourself.