One of our biggest mistake as humans is assuming that people know how we feel, figuring that others can read our minds, or expecting someone to understand us completely.
We all do it. We are surprised and dispirited when someone doesn’t react to a situation in a way that we expected them to. We feel a little disappointed in those who don’t share in the same opinions as ourselves, or we get upset when the other person can’t see our sadness or our joy as intensely as we feel it.
I, as of lately, have been very guilty of this and so I think it’s a good time for me to write about it, get it out of my system, and be done with this nasty habit.
I have found myself in the past few days getting a little more frustrated with a certain someone because their behavior has not in some instances mirrored my expectations. Which, after a little necessary reflection, I have realized is completely unfair.
My goal with this individual or anyone in my life is not to make myself appear right or make them think they are wrong in any way, yet I can see how this type of behavior can be viewed as if it was. All I truly want is to be genuinely understood and respected. It is for this reason that I must also show the same considerations unto them. I figure that the only way that I can do this is to adapt to their internal habitat the best I can.
So how I see it, in order to achieve this higher level of consciousness it’s almost as if we must become a chameleon of sorts when dealing with people; blending into their mental environment, so to speak. It’s important that whoever we are interacting with that we regard them as the individual that they are and remember that their thought process is not a reflection of our own.
Allowing them to express how they perceive things is giving you an insight into their psyche. You can now know that this person doesn’t take offense to criticism, and this person feels overjoyed for others accomplishments, while this person doesn’t appreciate when people go out of their way to help him.
Everyone has their way about them and little idiosyncrasies. We should try to understand that their life is diverse and abundant with their own things going on and remember that everyone’s personality is what makes them react or not react in different ways to certain things.
By recognizing and accepting everyone as an individual as well as connecting with them on their level you are not changing who you are but becoming a better and more compassionate friend, husband, sister, coworker, etc. You are flexible, understanding and non judgmental. You open the relationship up to better communication. You are allowing this person to be who they truly are without inadvertently trying to manipulate their disposition.
Let’s face it, when someone feels that they have to behave in a certain way around you, that doesn’t coincide with what they really stand for, they are more than likely and unwillingly disregarding their natural character. Who the heck wants that!?
~Say you are upset with your best friend for not returning your phone call earlier in the week when you desperately needed her advice. It is reasonable to ask her if something might have come up, if she was too busy with work, or if there is something bothering her in regards to you. Yet it is not ok to express your agitation with accusations and assumptions making her feel like she is being attacked just because you feel hurt. She may not have even realized just how important the conversation you wanted to have really was. She quite possibly didn’t hear the urgency in your voicemail~
It’s simple things like the above example that can really eliminate a lot of unnecessary conflict while being productive, and rational at the same time.
Practicing patience with people’s differences is like practicing patience with anything else. Hard! Yet, doing this one little thing can truly better your valued relationships.
In the process of appreciating the diversities and convictions of others don’t ever lose your own authenticity. This type of practice should be a mutual thing. Knowing and respecting who someone is and what they are all about is one thing, but allowing their true behavior to continuously be a direct disregard for who you are as a person is a whole different story. If you find yourself walking on egg shells every time you have an encounter with someone, stop walking and start running.
Allowing people to be themselves around you and be comfortable doing it is serving two purposes. Firstly, you are showing that you are a caring and compassionate human being and secondly, they are either showing you the same or they are not (if they are not, refer to #10 in my Brain Train blog)