Help with the neighbours

I've got some advice for relationships with neighbours

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Actually you could use this for the 'neighbour' in your head.

We live in a subjective world and maybe the question is "what's mine and what's yours?'

A little more detail might help. One of the most important points about how we understand the world is the meaning that we place on, well virtually everything. As we grow and develop so we create inside ourselves a representation of the world, a model, a map. It is subjective, this means that it’s personal and is the collection of all our feelings, beliefs, desires, values and motivations. These qualities are built from our experiences and of course the most intimate experiences are those that come from within the family. This is where the map provides various ‘templates’ of how to behave in every situation and what is expected of us. The question is, do we update these templates?

To understand and be honest, about what bothers us in someone else’s behaviour, we have to become aware of our own subjective world, the map and its various templates. We need to know that we have a set of beliefs and values that give our lives meaning and, as importantly, that other people may well have different ones. You can see this is very young children in what is known as the Theory of Mind. Up to a certain age, around 2 years old, children have very little idea that other people have different ideas. The ‘terrible twos’ is often attributed to the idea that this is frustration where the toddler is coming up against people who certainly have different ideas and they have no strategies to deal with that.

To get beyond, or indeed to act in certainty, that others are ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ we have to have a clear idea of not only what are our values but also where they come from, what is the template exactly? Then we can decide how strongly we want to hold onto them. The next stage is to move out of this 'black and white' thinking to make a decision on how much it matters that a person is wrong or right or just different. Dare I say a few 'shades of grey' or even other colours?

Finally, we have to develop the ability to be empathic and realise that others have gone through a subjective journey themselves creating their own maps and templates to discover what is right and wrong for them. A question I often ask in confusing situations is “What has to be true for this person that they would think / behave like this?” This then gives me an insight into their representation of their world which I can test out. Choosing to challenge or to agree is then the next step……….

It's an article with Cass Green here on the psychologies web site:

Martin Weaver

Martin works as a UKCP registered Constructivist Psychotherapist, Supervisor and trainer, using Neuro Linguistic Psychotherapy, (NLPt). He is qualified to Master Practitioner standard in NLP and is an INLPTA certified NLP trainer. He holds a Postgraduate Certificate in the supervision of counsellors from the University of Birmingham. He provides psychotherapy, counselling, coaching and supervision to individuals and couples at his practice in West London and is involved in several psychotherapy / counselling and supervision training programmes. ​ In the early1980s Martin was a volunteer with the Terrence Higgins Trust. Taking the first call on the helpline he was instrumental in setting the foundations for the first response to the AIDS crisis. He developed support, advice and counselling services for those people who were affected and traumatised at the beginning of the crisis. ​ During an 11 year career in the NHS he piloted the Primary Health Care Team training development programme in the South West Thames region, as well as developing and implementing a Health Promotion Officer’s training programme. He has worked at senior manager level at Regional and District level and has been responsible for commissioning new services and leading on the development of drug and alcohol and sexual health services. ​ Between 2002 and 2004 Martin was the Vice Chair, then Chair, of the professional organisation that seeks to maintain standards and develop the skills of Neuro Linguistic Psychotherapists and Counsellors, the Neuro Linguistic Psychotherapy and Counselling Association, (NLPtCA). He is a past member of the Training, Education & Practice Committee of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and has helped in the re-shaping of its structure. ​ Martin provided psychological support, supervision and training to the staff and counsellors at the 7th July Assistance Centre. The centre provided psychotherapy, guidance and support to people who were affected by the London bombings in 2005, later taking on 16 further terrorist incidents and disasters. Building on his established training experience Martin created and delivered a series of workshops for the counsellors and support staff. From October 2010 to March 2011 he supervised the small team providing psychosocial support to the families and witnesses throughout the Coroner’s Inquests into the London Bombings. ​ From 2001 to 2011 he provided training, consultancy and supervision to the volunteer counsellors at Brent Bereavement Services & Bereavement Services for Hounslow. Currently he delivers courses for student psychotherapists to facilitate their UKCP accreditation.