When actions and stated priorities don’t seem to mesh – they just might.

It might seem like trying to discover what someone else’s priorities are from their actions is always easy. This is not the case

There can be multiple different things acting upon a person’s priorities to make their actions seem contradictory. Sometimes the person might not even be aware of the things that they are doing with the contradictory priorities.

For example, I don’t particularly like talking about drama in relationships.

That statement probably comes as a bit of a shock to anyone I’ve dated in the last several years.

The explanation, though, is fairly straightforward. I tend to process and think about things out loud, especially while talking to other people and getting other viewpoints. And when there’s drama, or a system is having problems, or an issue in a relationship, I want to fix it.  And I want to fix it rapidly!

As a result, I will often end up bumping up the priority of resolving any problems or outstanding issues, so that I can get them off my mind…and then not talk about them any more.

While straightforward, it took a bit of sitting with myself and questioning my own motivations to realize what was going on.

Now, while I still do the same behavior, I know what’s driving it, and I’m able to work on being able to postpone those conversations and efforts when I have to. (That’s a work in progress, though.)

If I hadn’t stopped to consider what was going on, not only would my behavior seem opposite to what I said I wanted, but I wouldn’t be able to even try to control it.


Regardless of the motivation, if another can’t control or alter their behavior while violating your boundaries or denying you your needs, you have to be prepared to ignore the other person’s stated motivations and pay attention to the priorities their actions say are important instead.

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