The other day, one of my students came to visit me and gave me the great idea to include on this blog themes answering the question above, so as to help readers in coping with their everyday.
Thus, what are those things that, if we knew them at the beginnings of our lives, would have led us to a different understanding of Self and others and consequently, to different, more productive behaviors?
In every living moment, we project our beliefs. At least 85% of those are comprised of the things that we absorbed from our environment at the age of 0-8 years old. Those beliefs are now embedded within our system and had shaped the reality in which we live - and continue shaping it, every single day of our existence.
Let’s examine how this truth applies to a more practical situation: What happens during a conversation between two people?
When people talk to each other, what is really “talking” is their belief systems. In every single moment, they project what is on their mind and interpret what is happening around them as correct and proper or wrong and distressful.
If people feel like they are not in agreement, it is the particular belief system of each that is in disagreement and may lead them to feel angry, have intense disputes or even fights. It’s not that these people are difficult, wrong or mean, it is that their upbringing and experiences thus far have created a different “software” in their brain from which they operate. Nothing more and nothing else than that.
If we all were to have the same heredity, the same upbringing, and the same experiences as the next person, we would probably behave as the next person. Nevertheless, the stimuli that each of us face every day are bountiful. This suggest that two people cannot be equal - even if they are identical twins, living with the same parents, going to the same school and having the same surroundings. Their beliefs system will not be in absolute accordance.
So, here is the thought: if we know that, by default, we are not equal to each other, then why we expect to have same perspectives, opinions and behaviors? And even more, if we know that others process information differently, which dictates their specific behaviors that might differ from our own, why do we get upset, angry, sad, disappointed or frustrated?
How can you use these knowledge: in every single encounter with others, you will exchange your thoughts and they will do the same. Thus, what are they saying? Listen to it carefully. It is not that they are agreeing or opposing to what you are telling them. They are just expressing what they consciously or unconsciously believe in. If you show up with your Ego, you might get irritated. If you show up with your new knowledge, a new intent to be constructive will dictate and support your next steps.
The solution is simple: You should try to communicate with candid aim to understand the other party and build a common route that will support yours and their intent. Empathy, Acceptance, Compassion is the name of the game.
How often do you consciously apply these principles in your everyday life?
By answering that simple question you will be able to monitor the quality of your relationships today, and even more, the level of your own development and growth.
Nicole Mantzikopoulou, May 2019