Jordan Peterson is, admittedly, an acquired taste. You have to be a special person to take an instance where he suggests people are stupidly moving about life and apply that to yourself. I have no such difficulty because I don’t know every damn thing there is to know – and if I would have turned one of his videos off for an instance like that, I’d have missed the point that, in a relationship such as a marriage, we shouldn’t fight to win that argument but rather negotiate for a mutually beneficial peace.
If one person in the relationship wins the argument, where does that leave the other? Defeated and looking for a payback most likely. That’s a great way to share a life together, isn’t it? Always trying to outdo your best friend so one can “win”? On the other hand, if you do the least possible damage possible so you can negotiate peace, well that sounds a whole lot better to me. And it did my wife, too. After having practiced that for the better part of a month, we’re both shouting the benefits from the rooftops!
Here’s the important point: Some of the stuff I run into listening to those two simply doesn’t apply to me. Some of it is way over my pay grade (Grannon likes to make this point a lot, that somehow society has come to point where people poorly attempt the psychoanalysis of everything – something I believe people do to show off their intellectual prowess, poorly… but think about that in terms of a Fifth Step in recovery for a minute [!!!]). BUT, there’s a lot of good in there, too.
Take this from Peterson (paraphrasing); Don’t compare yourself to someone else, compare yourself today to who you were yesterday. The idea is to be 1% better than the person you were yesterday. Certainly that’s attainable and it leaves the psychoanalysis to the professionals. Or this (again, paraphrasing); don’t fight with your spouse or partner to win because that leaves one of the two defeated. Instead, argue, then negotiate for a peaceful resolution in which you both can be happy. My wife and I have been practicing this for more than a month and we are currently fantastically in love with each other – this is some of the best advice I’d ever taken to heart. Or this, from Grannon (paraphrasing); You are not responsible for why someone does something bad. The psychoanalysis is really none of your business – quarantine those people who won’t live by society’s laws and move on – and for people who don’t warrant quarantine, don’t allow them in your life. You are not guilty in any way for what someone else chooses to do or how they act.
Or better, look at Grannon’s work on narcissism! Spoiler alert, you’re going to start out thinking, “my spouse/partner is obviously a narcissist. He/She does this, and that, and the other…” and if you’re doing it right, you’ll hit a point where you recognize something you do. And then you’ll think, wait a minute! I do that, too… and the other and this other… HOLY SHIT!!! Then you’ll realize just how much you’ve got to fix… and you’ll get to work on that without fanfare or applause. And you will begin to get better. Then your relationship will get better. Then your spouse/partner will recognize they’re safe to get better with you. Then your spouse/partner will start to change. Then you’ll feed off of the happiness you’re creating.
The point is, we can all use to better ourselves a little bit. Why not get busy with it? And if you start out blaming, like I did, try to find that place where you can turn that keen intellect back on you… where it’ll be much better placed on someone you can actually change.
Before you decide you should protest and try to take down the whole of capitalism (a term a communist made up because you can’t rail against a “free market”), maybe you should try learning how to clean your bedroom, first.