The purpose of this assignment is to help you (1) understand how others view an interpersonal issue (2) recognize the merits and drawbacks of each person’s perspective (3) recognize how an interpersonal issue may not be as important as it first seems. Although understanding perceptions are difficult, the reward of increased empathy is well worth the effort.
What You’ll Need
Choose a person or viewpoint with whom or which you hold different perspectives and have difficulty understanding their position. If you’ve chosen a person, it’s best to have them be part of this activity. Hopefully, this person will be available for feedback during the time you are completing this assignment, but if that’s not possible, you can do it alone.
The Activity
Identify your partner and the topic. What opposing viewpoint did you choose? Although not required, you will get more out of this assignment if you complete it with the person you are trying to empathize with.
For the topic you chose, really place yourself in each of the positions below. Pick a topic that you can relate to, and then analyze each position, using the steps below:
1) Your position is correct, and your opponent is wrong.
2) Your opponent is right, and you’re wrong.
3) Both positions are correct, and both are wrong.
4) It isn’t important which side is right or wrong.
5) Finally affirm the fact that there is truth in all four perspectives.
After addressing the questions above, discuss how this has changed how you view the other side.
Create a written response that is 3-4 pages long, double spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman, following APA formatting. (No sources are required; however, if you do use any, you must cite them properly in APA)
Be sure to address the following:
1) Start with an introduction that includes a short summary of what the disagreement is.
2) Discuss your process through each position of the pillow method (1-5)
3) Conclude with a final reflection about this experience answering the following questions:
Are you able to understand the other side?
Why or why not?
Was the process difficult for you?
What did you learn from this?

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