Look at it from my Perspective……….
Put yourself in my situation………….
If you were dealing with what I’m dealing with, you’d behave like this too…
Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes…………..
You have no idea what’s it like……………
All of these are comments, sayings & sometimes accusations you’ve probably come across if you are engaged in relationships!
The human brain is designed to make judgements & form opinions which it often generalises as the ‘truth’; that’s how we learn.
Unfortunately, we start from a place of looking for or paying attention to what we already believe is true
E.g. She is bad tempered because she’s just mean
(Rather than perhaps she’s dealing with constant pain?)
He doesn’t tell me what’s going on because he’s secretive
(Rather than perhaps he simply doesn’t know I want to be informed &
doesn’t want to bore me with too much detail?)
The downside of this, predictably is that we might not learn much that is new to update our previous beliefs. So we carry on perceiving the world from our own set of filters, as limiting yet familiar as they are!
"There’s no such thing as immaculate perception.
We see what we thought was there before we looked!"
Have you ever been to see a film with a friend & over drinks & discussions later wondered whether you had actually seen the same film…or perhaps if one of you has lost the plot, pardon the pun?
However, what our brains also have the capacity to do is consider what opinions, judgements & generalisations other people might be making based on their context, what’s ‘true’ for them.
This is often called Positioning. I put myself in your position, to see the world through your eyes, as best I can, in an attempt to understand, rationalise or at least empathise with what you’re saying or doing. This should help me to relate to you with more compassion, more consideration & probably more effectively…. for you.
This is hard work, I find, but can have huge rewards, making for greater clarity & respect between friends, co-workers, and family members. I “get” you………(as long as I remember I can’t ever really know…)
So I celebrate your difference, I adapt my behaviours given yours, I forgive you, and I let it go.
And sometimes, that’s where the problem starts for me.
I have noticed that I work SO hard at seeing the world from your perspective, that when I get an inkling of what’s true for you…& I feel that I can appreciate your motives & intentions a little better, all the sting goes out of how your behaviour might have hurt me.
So what’s bad about that then?
I hold back on the respectful feedback or open enquiry with you that might give us each more information about our relationship & particularly about how we might, as a unit interact in ways to nurture each of us.
I swallow my own hurt because I can see why you might have said that or done that & I want you to be you……….not who I want you to be, but I don’t want to be so hurt that the easiest thing for me to do is to stay away from you.
I want to be able to keep the sting, when appropriate so that I can be authentically me. Hmmm. I haven’t yet figured out how to do this & be as respectful as I want to. Maybe you have?
I love to notice, & to wonder & to journal on the things I wonder about: as the poet David Whyte says ~to "overhear myself saying things I didn't know I knew"