I grew up in a house where we were taught to see both sides of the story. In some respects, it's been a blessing. For instance, when I was in 8th grade (taking you way back) I failed my math class for a quarter. There was an after school program developed for students wanting to raise a failing grade into passing territory AKA- F to D-. Now, I was also playing basketball and it was a requirement to be passing all my classes. So in order to play, I had to enroll in this "retention prevention" program to bring my grade up. My math teacher didn't have to correct my makeup papers until Friday and I had a Tuesday game. Go figure, he didn't correct the papers.
I was sad and heartbroken that I had to miss out on that game. All my friends were saying I should be ticked off at my teacher for not correcting the paper, but I told them it was my fault to begin with and he wasn't obligated to correct my papers until the end of the week. I was the one who didn't do my homework and failed the class so there was really no point in playing the victim. I did, however, ask my teacher the next day if he could correct the papers so I could play in the Thursday game. He heard about what I said to my friends and said he respected what I did in that instance and corrected my papers. Sweet Jesus, I was able to play basketball again!
Small example of seeing the flip side. There have also been instances recently between friends where I've kept my mouth shut until I've heard both sides. You'd be absolutely amazed how lopsided some people's viewpoints are until you've heard the counterpart.
But in other respects, this idea has been very destructive for me. I tend to argue with myself quite frequently. I guess it's kind of like the idea of "over thinking" things. I'll have an epiphany or an idea on a subject, but a few moments later have a contradicting opinion opposed to the initial idea. Commence the battle of the mind...
Many times, the contradicting opinion takes the voice of somebody I hold in high esteem or an authority figure in my life supposedly in the role of "the voice of reason". It's really put a strain on my relationships with others. It's like I equate their voice in my head to actually speaking with them. Slowly, I've worked my way into distrusting a lot of people who've never given me a reason to not trust them.
So my biggest battle right now rages inside my own head. It's kind of hard to ignore something like that. As much as I hate the word due to overuse, these many voices I'm hearing is coming from a single source- torment. I get choked up even typing the word because I'm realizing just how real it is in my life right now.
But I refuse to lose such a winnable battle...