I always liked the song We Can Work it Out. It’s got a cool melody, and a good, positive message. Right? At a superficial glance, maybe. But I discovered something.
In case you live under a rock, here is the song I am talking about:
Neat melody, hunh? But take a closer listen to the lyrics.
I had a conflict situation in my life, and the other party posted this song on Facebook, and that’s when I noticed it. The song appears to be about conflict resolution, but it never once mentions–or even hints at–compromise. The lyrics suggest that the singer’s ideas are right, and the other party’s ideas are wrong. Full stop.
So basically, if person #2 doesn’t give in to person #1’s demands, person #2 is flat-out wrong. Geez, talk about arrogant. No discussion, no notion of listening to what person #2 has to say.
Does that sound like a positive message to you?
Conflict in my marriage is resolved when we listen to each other. If my husband has a problem with something I am doing, he tells me what is going on and why it’s bothering him. I listen to him, and try to recognise why it’s bothering him. I examine the situation, I ask questions. The same goes for when I have a problem with something he has done. The point is, we discuss it. We deal with only one problem at a time, so there’s no, “Well you did that thing!” “Well YOU did THAT thing!” as if it’s a competition, or as if it’s okay that one person did a thing because the other person did a thing before. We respect each other, so we don’t attack or blame one another. We trust each other, so we know we will solve the problem and that it isn’t a case of one trying to overpower the other. Eventually we come up with a solution. Job done. There is absolutely no feeling of one of us being “right” and the other being “wrong.”
So sure. We Can Work It Out. But not in the way The Beatles suggest.