What do you tend not to see when relating to others? The answer may point to sources of problems in your relationships. The card BLIND SPOTS encourages you to open your eyes to what is normally clouded over and hidden from your view. In relationships, as in driving a car, you will navigate better if you keep both eyes open and beware of your blind spots. Blind spots can keep you from sharing the happiness and fulfillment you want with a partner. They also are a source of many of the difficulties you experience in relating.
This card challenges you to learn to notice – and respond to – factors in relating that you tend not to see. Where do you start? By first noticing what you do tend to look at in relating. Each of us tends to focus on a small part of the whole picture. And we’re each blind to different things.
The complete picture includes what each partner brings to the relationship: what each says and does, what each wants, needs, and feels, how each thinks differently, and the unique sensitivities and tendencies to react that each partner has, based on their past. Few of us readily see all of these factors. In being blind to any part of the picture, you leave yourself open to frequent “collisions” as you travel on the path of relating.
For instance, when having interpersonal problems, do you tend to focus on what your partner is doing – or what you are doing? If you only focus on their behavior, their sensitivities, their hang-ups, then you have a blind spot for the part you play. You are not recognizing your own sensitivities, reactions, and ways of expressing yourself that affect the relationship.
This blindness can keep you from dealing with your own emotional issues or changing how you communicate. It’s like driving with no sense of where you are on the road. You will tend to hit problems again and again, until you finally open your eyes and notice what it is that you bring into relating.
Another blindness occurs if you focus on what a partner feels, needs, or wants – but fail to give attention to the same things in yourself. You may neglect to say how you really feel about things. You might not ask for what you want or need. This blindness can lead to feeling you have lost your identity in the relationship, or resenting that you have given so much and gotten back so little. But you have been driving without giving any signals of where you want to go, so how can your partner gauge what to do?
There are many other forms of blindness. Sometimes you may get so focused on yourself that you fail to see how others are responding. You may get so preoccupied with your own needs that you don’t notice what a partner wants or needs. Then, not responding to what they need, you may eventually collide with deep resentments. Not knowing what they want, you cannot communicate effectively. To open your eyes after this type of blindness, all you have to do is ask your partner, “What do you truly want or need right now?”
These are a few of the types of blindness that cause problems in relationships. BLIND SPOTS asks you to open your eyes to what you have missed seeing. Look for each factor in the whole picture of relating – in both you and your partner – so you can navigate better and avoid dramatic collisions.