Take the Perspective of Others by Considering the Context
Consider this -
Maybe the last person who was rude to you did not upset you because they are a mean person.
Too often in our daily interactions with people, particularly if they were unpleasant, we attribute fault to the person themselves: “They forgot my order because they are dumb/bad at their job/don’t like me,” etc.
Did you know we also tend to attribute our own mistakes not as faults but arising out of the situation? For instance: "I wouldn’t have made that mistake if it wasn’t for the fact that X happened."
The tendency to attribute the behaviour of others to personality and our own to a situation is known in psychology as attribution bias. Attribution bias occurs through peripheral processing, or unconscious automatic processing. This is a type of information processing our brains do to make sense of the extensive amount of information coming in through our senses all the time. Instead of analyzing every bit consciously, overtime our brains take our past experiences and create short cuts that help us understand a situation or individual very quickly. Because the situation that lead to an individual's behaviour is often hidden to us, many people have taught themselves to understand motives as inherent to the person.
There are, however, those that tend to give others the benefit of the doubt more often than not. Although this route of processing takes more effort, it has been shown that people that make this tiny extra effort tend to be happier overall and are generally more psychologically healthy.
You may not be able to imagine the context to everyone’s behaviour, many peoples actions seem completely unwarranted to us. However, remember that just like you, they have a context. That may not excuse their behaviour, but it is good for conscientiousness to know and be aware that people are not “good” “bad” “stupid” “ignorant” “mean” people just because you saw them act that way. Some of us have lost sight of our light, but there really is no “better” or “worse” only perspective.
Next time you have an unpleasant interaction, a disagreement or argument, take the other person’s perspective. I know you’ve heard it a thousand times, imagine if you were the other person, how would you feel. But its really works! Especially in a moment when things are heated and the last thing you want to do is see things from the other person’s view because 1. they appear not to give a damn how you feel 2. you are too busy trying to show them how they made you feel/hurt your feelings. But, this is when taking the other person’s view is the most important. I have experienced the greatest amount of growth in my relationships when I perform this at the height of least feeling like it.
The result: Anger melts and you are solution oriented almost instantaneously. This allows you to learn from the interaction, which is the purpose of interactions in the first place.
What are your thoughts? Do you find putting yourself in the other person's shoes is good for consciousness?
Labels: consciousness, higher awareness, higher self, spiritual, spiritual awakening, spiritual work, spirituality, wake the sleepers, wake up