May 8, 2017 by Cláudia
We all experience similar emotions, but each person’s experience is inextricably individual and intransmissible. We can listen to someone expressing their own experience but ultimately words can only express it to a certain extent. There will always be an area of someone’s life that will remain unspoken.
Dealing with other people is so difficult and we frequently fall into conflict. This happens because of misunderstandings – we get angry at other people’s attitudes when we don’t know where they are coming from and we think we would react differently in the same situation. This is unfair though because we can never be in the exact situation as other people. Different past events shape our personality in different ways and we constantly morph and grow and change according to a multiplicity of combinations of different events.
Therefore, everyone has a very unique worldview, mindset and set of beliefs so that it is truly true when it is said that there are no two people who are the same. Even twins that share DNA and grow in the same house will develop differently. This makes the world interesting, makes people fascinating and makes it so you can learn something from every single person in the world. But it also makes it difficult because we can only truly access our own thoughts and there are certain things we will probably never understand about other people. We have spent our whole life living inside our head with our own truths and thus it may seem like they are absolute truths, and we may dismiss what other people consider their own truths.
So in order to have positive fulfilling relationships with other people, I think we should try to see their world through their eyes, but always bearing in mind that we are not seeing the whole picture. When someone assumes they know what you’ve been through or what you’re feeling it just makes communication even harder. When people make assumptions about what you’re feeling without trying to understand it, it increases the feeling of isolation and being misunderstood. It is good to try to put yourself in each other shoes, but it’s not good if someone is monopolizing the situation and tell you what you are going through according to their own experience because it’s manifestly different from yours.
Communication is hard, so give people a break. There are so many times when you can’t successfully explain how you feel or explain an idea and then people misunderstand you and make negative assumptions about who you are. Everyone is so complex, everyone is constantly changing, so let’s not hold it against people things that they have said or done. Let’s not demand that other people have the same values and lifestyles. Everyone has had a different path and multiple factors come into play when it comes to forming one’s self. Everyone is confused and experiences contradictions. Everyone grows and sometimes people grow apart because they grow in different ways. However, this doesn’t mean that people have to get together with other people who are exactly the same. It’s a lot easier to have people who you understand more and who agree with you more but to have different people around you is enriching.
So don’t make assumptions about other people. Don’t have “dealbreakers”. Don’t think that someone is a bad person because they believe in death penalty, don’t think someone’s lazy because they’re unemployed and don’t think someone’s broken because they have a mental illness. Understand that everyone has a deeply complex inside. That one person is not one thing but multiple things. That we never know what someone’s going through so we should be kind all times.
I hope I am not sounding preachy or judgemental. I do not claim to be the owner of the truth and I am certainly not the perfect person. I do not do everything that I think we should do. It’s hard to live in society. But I do strongly believe that in order to have a healthy relationship with others we should be humble and see things from a relative point of view if we want to begin to understand what it feels like to be them.