We had an old friend visit to have a bit of a moan about his other half. Actually it was more than a moan. It was an attack on her character and everything she stood for. She’d shared her side of the story and he had come to give his version. After all doesn’t the scripture say only a fool makes a judgement without listening to both sides?
Now, I thought he was being unreasonable and was a downright liar, but I also recognised that it didn’t matter what I thought, what mattered to him was what he believed. His belief was his own reality and I had to operate and address him from a space in his own world.
I learned that you can never understand a person until you are able to get into their skin, enter into their world and see things from their point of view. You can’t help or give your two cents if you don’t understand the problem.”Seek first to understand, then to be understood” is the fifth habit of highly successful people.
I have since adopted that mindset when dealing with people. Good or bad, morally right or not, I try to speak to them from a place of their own reality. That’s the only way we can make some semblance of progress. One advantage of doing so is you are able to gain clarity as to whether it’s even worth carrying on the conversation, or simply leave them to live peacefully in the space of what they believe. The result was a peaceful conversation despite the vitriol in his words. We didn’t try to change his mind or get drawn into the mud slinging. It was clear he simply wanted to be heard, something I realised only after stepping into his world.
I leave you with this quote from To Kill a Mocking Bird:
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view–until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Atticus Finch
I am passionate about learning life-lessons and I enjoy storytelling. Feel free to share this lesson with a friend or colleague, it can be found at letsbrunch.co.uk.
Do share your thoughts with me and have a blessed day!