04 18, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 comments
I have been motivated to write about this by some comments on a Facebook status. So often I find these discussions that show up really interesting food for thought.
The post started off with the following picture:
We often find ourselves in situations where we don't feel we're getting a great response from people. Sometimes that will happen, but how we respond to it makes a big difference.
So, firstly we need to acknowledge that we often have a desired outcome to our communication. For example, if I said "hello" to someone, I would probably expect them to say "hello" back. If they said "yellow" back, it would somewhat confuse me.
So the next stage would probably be for me to ask myself why they've said that. They may be trying to be funny. They may have misheard what I said and "yellow" might be a completely valid response to what they thought they heard. They might have some kind of learning disability which causes them to respond in an unusual manner. Or some other options.
So, what most people do in this situation, usually unconsciously, is ask themselves why they might have responded to a "hello" with "yellow". This means we've missed the option of mishearing because we've already assumed the initial message got through. We also may make other assumptions which continue to narrow down the options we get.
Maybe we decide that there is no way we'd respond in that way because to us it isn't funny, it isn't clever and it doesn't make sense. Therefore if we were to respond that way, we would be being extremely rude.
We then project this onto the other person and deduce that they must have been being rude to us.
Then we have an area for possible conflict, especially if the other person projects back onto us their assumptions. In a more serious example than the one above, it could escalate into a massive falling out.
People can often mis-hear of mis-understand us, or we can with them. What might seem like a perfectly reasonable statement when it leaves the sender can be received in a very different way.
People have different values. What might seem rude or offensive to one person, might not even register on the radar of etiquette for someone else. This can be particularly relevant where there are cultural differences. but it's best not to assume that a similar culture means similar values.
I've found that people very rarely intend to offend. We want harmonious relationships in our lives. However, if we mistake our projected meaning for a correct interpretation, we are unlikely to give the other person the chance to explain or make amends.
So what is the solution to all this? It comes down to awareness, as does so much in life. If someone's response seems strange, consider there may be an alternative reason to the one that seems to be glaring us in the face. The key is to catch yourself and break the unconscious pattern. Once you realise you may be projecting, you can consider other possible reasons for their response. The best way of resolving the situation is to ask the person what they meant by their response. Clear, honest and open communication can go a long way to clear up misunderstandings.
So next time you feel uncomfortable, consider whether you are projecting your beliefs onto the situation.
04 01, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 0 comments
I went to see a film - The Dalai Lama Awakening - at The Wellbeing Centre yesterday evening. I have to admit I was partially drawn to it because there would be interviews with the Dalai Lama himself and I am a massive admirer.
However, it was much more than that. It was a documentary about a journey of transformation of 40 of the "big thinkers" of the world as they met with the Dalai Lama to try and solve some of the world's problems.
They came together, as you may expect, with a process, which they hoped would help them produce a plan. There were many different types of people, each with their own ideas and inevitably the process broke down. But what came out of the trip for each of them was a personal transformation - an opening of their hearts and a calming of the ego.
The message that came out of the film was "change the world by changing yourself".
This resonates with me because this is what I've been working on with myself on my journey. "Be the change you want to see in the world" is how I remember it (originally said by Ghandi), but it all starts with ourselves.
In my sessions with clients, I talk to people about how we can't change those around us, only ourselves. However, this will still make a difference as when we change, those around us change towards us.
The other key thing I learnt is the value and implication of compassion. Now, I realise the value of it already, but not always the implication of practising it. The film briefly touched on the Tibet issue and someone suggested imposing sanctions on China. However after consideration, the Dalai Lama voiced concerns over how that would affect the people of China, most of whom are not guilty of oppressing anyone, and hence how compassionate it would be.
I will try to be more aware of the greater effect of my decisions.
I have to say it was an inspiring evening and a real pleasure to meet the director who's touring with the film at the moment.
If you get the chance to see it, I'd recommend going.