Thursday, 12 May 2011

How do you view others?

How you look at the world and in particular other people and their actions, is actually a reflection of your own thinking.

It is the human condition to interpret people and their actions through your own filter. Often, (always if I am honest) when I have been presented with a situation where someone has been mean, spiteful and vicious, I am stunned into incomprehensibility and often just cry. This is because I NEVER expect people to act this way since I don't myself. This has resulted in many an "ambush" by people who act from their ego in this way and some uncomfortable situations for myself. However, even with this knowledge, I love thee fact that these actions surprise me, it means that does not reflect who I am or how I see the world. I don't go looking for opportunities (in fact, even when they present themselves I don't see them) to stab people in the back, dob on them or make them look foolish for my own gains.

I have also been stunned on occasion by people suspecting that genuine kindness is a manner in which I might try to "get" something from people or use them in some way. I remember making up a basket for the administrative and auxiliary staff at my school (basically the non-teaching staff) with a note thanking them for their support and efforts. It had been a rough term on everyone and often support staff are forgotten in the thankful aftermath. I thought only to take a small opportunity to thank them for their support. After all, a school doesn't run without ALL the players pulling their weight and doing their part. The first thing that was said to me by another staff member was, "'re going to be asking some big favours of the teacher aids are you?" When I looked blankly at the person in question they qualified the statement with, "You know...sucking up with that basket of goodies and everything?" Not once (although this was shocking enough) but 6 times during the course of that day I was asked by others what I was "sucking up" for! Incredible! I chose to thank and acknowledge the work of people who had done a great job supporting me in my role, and the general perception was that I was doing it in order to gain for myself.

When you respond to a situation or read into the context of a situation, think about the filters you are applying from your own experiences and thoughts. I would never give a gift like the one mentioned above in the expectation that I should/would gain from it. So this is not what I think when someone gives me a gift. Seek out and acknowledge your own filters. Are you one of the people who would have asked me what I was sucking up for? If so, when you give a gift, are you expecting something in return? If you suspect that everyone in the workplace is nasty, is this your filter or the fact?

Everyone has filters, and there is nothing wrong with this. Examine your responses to people, places and situations and ask yourself, filter or fact? Especially when you are "interpreting" a situation rather than accepting what you have evidence of.

For example, if you catch a person stabbing you in the back...then that's what they did...fact, waste no  more time on dealing with this personality. If you walk into a room and everyone stops talking and you interpret this as being stabbed in the back.....possibly filter.

An awareness of your own filters helps you to grow. You can accept some filters (I like seeing the good in all thoughts and actions) and reject others (I don't like it when I think people are judging me even though I have no evidence). In this way you define for yourself the way you view the world and the most perfect you that you choose to be.

I strive constantly to learn more about myself in order to grow and reach towards the pure and authentic me.


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