“The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed; The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed.” — Charlotte Brontë
It is often the case that we fall under the illusion that we are ourselves exceedingly complex, and far more so compared to others, who appear to us little more than open books. In conflicts, this translates into “You can never understand!” and other similar sweeping statements.
Partially, this arises from the simple fact that we know ourselves best, because we understand our motivations and how they are linked to our actions. Motivations which are not apparent to others, although they like to think otherwise. Therefore, it only comes natural that we find it irksome and rage-inducing when others make attempts to project their opinions on us and impose incorrectly their views.
Ironically, even though we do not like it done in reference to us, it does not deter us from making attempts at claiming a complete understanding of others, from imposing judgements about them on them. This forms the basis for today’s article, which is about how to understand others better, and how to avoid forcing ourselves on them to create a better overall environment to work and play in.
As might be expected, the first step we need to take to achieve this is to come to terms with the fact that we do not know everything, if anything, about a person (apart from ourselves, of course). This is because it is only when we are able to do this that we can accept others for who they are and become able to see past our expectations of that person. Unfortunately, this is not something that can be achieved instantaneously. After all, it involves breaking free of a mould into which our thoughts have been led to grow to fit for years. Thus, it requires constant reminders to help ourselves grow accustomed to the idea. Nonetheless, this does not make it unachievable. It simply makes it all the sweeter once it has been accomplished.
Then, because we are ignoramuses where others are concerned, it becomes a necessary part of it to communicate. Communicate everything as is necessary. Even if it is just idle talk and platitude, some communication is better than none, for each additional insight gained into the other person’s life is an opportunity to prevent misjudgements from occurring due to a lack of understanding of that person.
Ultimately, the point is that we need to break that foundation in today’s society which is clearly built on judging others and imposing our views on them. Remember, no person is ever stupid. If ever you think that a person is stupid, then the issue is that there needs to be a shift in your mindset, to not only become more accepting of others, but to understand that others are not as two-dimensional as they are made out to be in our heads.