It's only natural to believe that our interpretation of the world is the only way to view things. We understand people and situations based on our own experiences, creating a unique lens. When we find ourselves in disagreement with our partner, it's easy to think that they're the ones who are misinterpreting the situation or are wrong. But ultimately, they're the main characters of their story as well.

Sometimes, your relationship could benefit from looking at it through a different lens or trying a new perspective. Research suggests that utilizing several views other than your own demonstrates high levels of emotional intelligence and can improve your relationship satisfaction. 

Perspective-taking and empathy

The two concepts are closely related, but empathy includes feeling what the other is feeling. Taking on a different perspective involves a bit more than that, where you can adopt a "sense" of what your partner thinks—understanding that their histories, motives, emotions, and perspectives influence their behavior and actions. 

In other words, empathy is when you take on the feelings of other people. When you can look at their perspective, you adopt their mindset. Not only can this skill apply to your relationship with your partner, but it can come in handy in other relationships. 

So why is perspective-taking so important in relationship satisfaction? 

Research suggests that you and your partner could benefit from practicing seeing the world from each other’s shoes for the following reasons:

Being in tune with your partner strengthens communication. When you or your partner find yourselves in a disagreement, it's easy to slip into a state of denial. You may become stubborn to see the situation from their perspective or vice versa. 

When you practice perspective-taking, you become more in tune with their potential reactions to things, allowing you to prevent conflict before it arises. After all, you're both unique people with your backgrounds, life experiences, and ultimately, individual perspectives. Both perspectives in the relationship deserve to be respected and appreciated. 

You’ll appear more open-minded and fair. By making an effort to understand your partner's perspective, you are making an effort to close the gap between you and your partner as separate people. Instead, you strengthen the connection and trust, where both of you can feel confident in feeling understood and accepted, regardless of how you may differ.

Perspective-taking helps you feel closer and more connected to your partner. Understandably, there may be times when you find that practicing compassion and understanding feel impossible to do. These are the challenges that come with the most significant amounts of growth. You practice setting your ego aside to focus on the situation at hand and turning potential built-up resentment, anger, and fear into security and love. 

A couple rarely reaches greater understanding or resolution without communicating, so make communication a priority. When you commit to each other in this way, you build a solid foundation for closeness and ease in the relationship.

A small effort can go a long way

The process of growing into a healthier, happier relationship isn't a clear cut path. But the good news is, this ability of perspective-taking can be learned. If you’re motivated to improve your relationship, by practicing a little discipline, you'll be able to find new ways to understand one another. Not only will it help your partner feel more loved, more vital, and more secure, but it will help your relationship strengthen as a unit.