Understanding Other People Better

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Part One: Seeing More Clearly

Any individual we meet, have been shaped by many influences. Each one of us is completely unique and, underneath our personality layers, each one of us has a special gift that we bring to the world. Holding this bigger vision of each other is a good place to start on journeying to understanding each other better. In part one we are going to look at seeing others more clearly, and in part two at hearing better.

Stop for a moment and consider, how well do you feel you understand others? How well do you feel others understand you? Have you ever heard others talking about you and thought that, that isn’t you? Are you doing this to others? Do you doing this to yourself?

Seeing others clearly, is about being aware of our pre-judgments about them based on their appearance and mannerisms. A tendency to fear and criticise, rather than to celebrate our differences, has been prevalent within society. However, when we celebrate our differences we are enriched. We are able to glimpse the wonder of the great tapestry of life.

On a deeper level, seeing others is about seeing their intentions, motives and hopes. There are four main filters at work here. Depending on which filter we are using we are seeing less or more clearly. These four main filters are: the filters of expectations, assumptions, compassion and higher vision.

The filter of expectations. Signs that we are looking through this filter are disappointment, frustration and anger. It’s having expectations about how we want others to behave, situations to go or how we think others are going to respond to us. Try: turning up with no expectations. See how, whatever happens, is a discovery or a bonus. Another experiment is to try asking someone to do something with no pre-conceived expectations of how they should do it or of what the final result should look like. Sometimes our expectations around a task can suppress others; without which they tend to rise to the task and positively surprise us.

The filter of assumptions. Signs that this filter is operating are approval seeking, insecurity or one-up-manship. We assume many things and jump to many conclusions about others based on their appearance or our past experience with them. Even more than this, we assume what they must be thinking, and in particularly what they think about us. We wonder if in their eyes we make the mark. Either we are seeking their approval or checking to see if they are worthy of ours. Try reminding yourself: I am enough.

The filer of compassion. The main sign that we are using this filter is that we see others with an attitude of compassion. This filter creates a much happier life for ourselves and others. We create an enabling and loving atmosphere around us. We are open to understanding others and we feel that we would like to do what we can to help others feel better about themselves. Scientific research, is even now, discovering how and why being kind and unconditional giving makes us feel better too. Watch out though not to go too far, and fall into the trap of feeling that you need to fix everyone.

The filter is higher vision. This filter enables us to really see the truth beneath the surface. It enables us to see the best in others and to see their original potential. We understand that others, like us, are sometimes overtaken by negative habits. We choose though to see them for the true being that they are. Today we tend to focus on and exaggerate the negative and play down the good. Try: turning the tables on this. See what magic happens when you hold a positive vision of others and interacting with ‘that’ being. Ultimately at our core we positive and we are all trying to tap into and re-experience our true selves.

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