This exercise highlights how important and efficient the practice of recording ourselves is (we can use any device for this purpose as long as it has a built-in recorder).
The very main reason why recording ourselves is much better than any other form of self-observation is that even though we consider ourselves to be honest – we are actually not so. We distort our present and past encounters after how we would prefer them to be, yet this is not how they actually unfolded.
In contrast, a recording would provide us with the raw material of a given situation – without any interpretational filtered input. And then we can take on the role of pure observers. We can impartially reflect upon who the wrongdoer really was – ourselves or the other person? We will be able to analyze which was the word or gesture that provoked our anger. However, keep in mind that it would take more than one listening to identify this. We would have to go over it 4 or 5 times.
We will naturally defend our own position during the initial listening. But afterwards – during the second listening – we will look through the eyes of the impartial observer. You will find out that the situation is not as straightforward as you initially thought; you may not be as right as you initially considered yourself to be. On the third listen, find which is the exact moment when you are not right. Mark the passages in which you can tell who was right and who was not – just like a referee does. And now, in order to support your ‘calls’ with evidences, listen to the recording for the fourth time. On the fifth listening, you should finally decide who was actually right in the overall situation. This decision should be fair, just, honest and unbiased – irrespective if you like it or not.