“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” – Albert Einstein.
It constantly surprises me how much other people want and feel the need to try influence how someone else should feel.
Whether it is a ‘You should…’, to a ‘If I were you I would…’ comment, it revolves more around the angst and anger of the speaker, than the receiver.
It also can lead to two people spending a great deal of time having a conversation and end up not actually communicating.
How can we avoid this?*
*(If you want to, that is. If you don’t, that is also OK, – again, anything other than acceptance is again one person wanting someone else to feel a certain way.)
Well, in one word – Listen!
Not hearing, with the view of coming up with your own answer. Or hearing with the view of cherry-picking a choice word or two that supports your own bubble of the world (see comic, left!).
It means just listening.
It doesn’t mean that:
- You agree with what is said.
- You don’t agree with what is said.
- You are weak.
- You are strong.
It just means that you have listened to what someone has said. That is reflective of their worldview.
It doesn’t mean that their worldview may not be completely abhorrent to yours, or that they hold a steadfast view which you feel is absolutely BS.
In fact, if you are needing to try change someone’s opinion, or thoughts, a good starting point is actually listening to them. At the very least, it means that you have ammunition to ‘shush’ them if they interrupt you!
Just remember, that whatever you say, they will filter through their own perception. Sort of like when you are starving, with 30 minutes to lunch, and nearly every second word from people’s mouths seem to you to be food related!
Also – quick tip! Trying to change someone only ever works when it is tried from an unselfish place. If you want to help them.
If you are doing it for your own ends, or because you feel ‘I am right, you are wrong’, it won’t work. That is why a lot of religious footsoldiers going door to door can be so successful – they genuinely want to help you by spreading the word that they wholeheartedly believe in. They are doing it for your good, not theirs.
It’s hard to do that if your heart isn’t in it, – unlike selling vacuum cleaners, where not giving a toss beyond making your next sales quota is practically a job requirement! That said, you do see salespeople who also believe in their products as much as zealots do in their chosen religion – but that is another post on how to see through a brand evangelical!
So, if you have read this far, great! That is also a form of listening.
Now, please tell me in the comments where I went wrong, or even better Like and Share this post to tell me where I went wrong! 🙂
(Please remember to take a look at Piecomic, whose comic appears on this page. Their links are below.)