One way to deal : get into the “oh, how interesting!” mode. Pretend you’re an anthropologist or sociobiologist, exploring a people and place you don’t know. The purpose? To get to know the local people and customs, noting your own assumptions and preconceptions as you try to set them aside and be objective. You begin with a hypothesis. You live among these people with whom you are not familiar. You come to experience their lives, how they work, what they believe, how they think, what matters to them. As best you can as an outsider, of course, because you never really become one of them.
And then you leave.
Might give you some perspective on what she’s all about. Might let you experience empathy without risking your own position. Give it a shot. Let me know how it goes.
Copyright © 2009 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.