And why is this? I know what conclusion you’re jumping to – I’m saying people are selfish. Well, in a way we all are, and there’s no question of that in some people. Especially now that the holidays are coming and we’re entering the “gimme” season. No, not the “giving” as we popularly put it. The magical holiday season are when people start making their demands known – loudly, frequently, and with a bold determination to mow you over with their will no matter what so they can make “the perfect holiday.” The only problem is that “perfect” is an operational definition – as in, there’s not one, singular definition of it, and it depends on your perception.
I think the core problem here, beyond even selfishness and stubbornness, is a perceptual problem. We all see the world differently, and we have our own way of processing and perceiving things. That we are all unique individuals is a fact that most people don’t have a problem with. The problem comes in comprehending that other people see things in a way that we can’t relate to and sometimes might not even understand. This is something I run across a lot. I’ll present something to people, and they’ll see things and pull interpretations out of it that never crossed my mind. That, I believe, is where the phrase “pulled it out of their butt” came from. You look at it and think how on earth did they come up with that out of this? You can’t see anything that even resembles it. But they can, and because of those perceptual differences, you can’t find a way to communicate.
Unfortunately, we like the way we see the world. We’re comfortable with it, and we’re willing to expend a great deal of time and energy trying to drag others in our world, not realizing that the simpler solution is to try to find their world and build a bridge between the two. This is called compromise. It’s a dirty word to most people. And we’d all get along better if we tried it a bit more frequently. But we don’t because it’s hard. Bridge building isn’t easy. In the physical world, it takes a licensed engineer with very special skills to do that, and I think that most people believe that’s true emotionally as well. It may seem like it. In my experience, the two hardest things in the world to do are to change how you think, and to try to understand what somebody else is thinking. It can be done, but it requires a tremendous amount of effort and attention to your own thinking and behavior patterns, and that level of self scrutiny is uncomfortable for most of us.
Lately, I’ve had several instances where people have asked me to speak with a person that they’re having difficulty communicating with. They tried to explain it every way they can, to no avail. In every instance, I asked the question they didn’t think to ask: why do you think that? Instead of trying to jerk them into my world, I asked them where they were coming from. It’s not 100%, but more often than not, you find that the problems aren’t as big as they appeared.
You can’t remake the world, folks. It is what it is, whether we like it or not. What you can do is exchange the mirror you see the world through for a window. Escape the tunnel of your own vision and look to the periphery. Look outside and see what lies beyond your own image of the world. Then you can get a better view of reality, and that can be the difference between moving mountains and wandering in the wilderness.
That’s all today. Take care and have a good end of the week.