BRIGHT SPOTS FRIDAY!
I’m an emotional person. Always have been. The type of kid who cried when he accidentally mowed over a box turtle while cutting the grass. The guy who gets choked up in the middle of an argument. Someone who prefers a hug to a handshake. I’ve always considered it an attribute. I like being someone who FEELS. My challenge recently has been trying to not let my emotions alone determine my reactions.
I had a couple good conversations this week that are helping me slow things down, to notice when I’m hooked into a story about someone or a situation that feels especially charged, and to simply take a breath and ask myself, “What’s my piece to own in this?” I’m wondering if I’m projecting MY view of things onto someone else or into a situation, in the hopes of somehow protecting some part of myself.
For famous Swiss psychologist Carl Jung this translates to: “Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be.” I did a little reading on what’s known in psychology as the fundamental attribution error: When someone makes a mistake or does something we find terrible, we have a tendency to believe this is caused by their individual personality, and not their situation.
A takeaway from my chat this morning was this…
  • If I was in this person’s shoes, with their knowledge and experiences, would I act much differently?
  • What situation may have influenced this person’s actions which I may not have been aware of?
I’m trying to accept that there are factors that may influence other people’s behavior that I’m probably not completely aware of. It’s helping me to more easily give people the benefit of the doubt.
I need to be gentler in my judgments toward others, which hopefully will allow me to be gentler in my judgments toward myself. When I look at my own behavior, it’s easy to say, “I acted badly because of circumstances that forced me to.” But I don’t always give that to other people. My goal is to try to focus more on understanding someone and their actions, rather than labeling them as an inherently bad and negative person.
If I’m going to REALLY fulfill my mission at Nevermore of helping people, I need to start with TRULY getting to know them and realizing what drives them and what limits them. I’ve read that a change in attitude and approach always precedes a change in situation. And MY attitude, MY thoughts, and MY actions will determine who and what I attract.
I sent this piece to Angie because it really struck a chord for me:
“Really take the time to think about what is motivating other people. Take the time to act as if we are trying to help them escape punishment from the judge and jury that is the emotional and vindictive part of our mind. Don’t just fight to see the worst, fight to see their side.
When we do this, when we give people the benefit of the doubt—the presumption of innocence instead of the presumption of guilt and ill-motives—everything relaxes. We can forgive. We can find common ground. We can focus on what is actually important…our own behavior.”
We’re all interconnected. We all have the same nature. Let’s work together to make Nevermore a place to bring out the best in all of us!
What is your Bright Spot this week?!…