There is a fundamental difference between what we know and what we want. The latter usually implies a change whereas the first usually refers to something that is. Confusing the two adds a lot of effort to relationships.
The coachee I was working with shared how her colleague has a habit of sharing facts with her without mentioning the reason he’d share this fact. Her colleague seems to assume that what he wants is evident to her. At the same time, he seems to find it hard to describe what he wants. Consequently, both of them struggle. She finds it hard to be constantly on the watch out. And he finds it hard as he rarely is heard.
Instead of learning how to talk with one another, they continue the same scheme over and over in the hope that things will change. Both are tired of it.
What neither does is engage in the fact that they both find themselves doing superfluous efforts. They don’t share how they feel, what they want or what they understand. And yet, they both concentrate on themselves and what they need. It’s usually what they need the other to do. Which in fact is a way to say “don’t disturb me, here’s how”.
Leaving it at that would mean to avoid the relationship or to disengage from it.
A relationship is how two people relate to one another. They always involve effort, differences, and challenges. To be able to add inspiration, cooperation, and pleasure to it, it requires the willingness to take care of that relation. The best way to take care is to choose the type of effort to undertake, to be curious about the nature of the differences and to engage in the challenge with openness.
It’s not about changing one or the other, it’s about dealing with the situation.