The Sunday Mail
UNDERSTANDING the next person is not easy, but it can be done!
I recently talked to several people to get their insights over the issue.
Below are excerpts of what they thought.
“I think humility plays a bigger role in trying to understand people. You have to be humble enough to take time and listen where someone is coming from. You lower yourself to their level, put yourself in their shoes and comprehend fully their side of the story.” — Lucia.
“Understanding people should start from understanding their background first. Only then can you know how to relate with them.
When dealing with people whose background you have studied, you will know how to carefully choose your words when talking to them; you will not have to say what triggers their negative emotions. Remember, words said can never be swallowed back.” — Lizzy K
“Each human being is unique: possessing a set of different qualities and desires. They have things that please them, which might not necessarily please another. They also react differently to external phenomena, and the way they approach circumstance is never uniform.
However, society, through moral codes and ethics, has been imposing a collective way of behaving. But these overlook our differences because we only behave according to what experience has taught us. So as long as we have different experiences, we must be given the liberty to act distinctively.” — LT
“I have personally understood that not all of us are the same. My strengths are someone else’s weaknesses; therefore, we need each other to build one another. Also, I have realised that people only want to associate themselves with someone wealthy and disassociate themselves from those who struggle.
Before they discover what you have, they cannot respect and honour you. But after they know what you possess, they then want to be closer to you. I don’t believe that kind of respect and association will be genuine.” — Lorraine.
“Everyone is different. We should treat each person differently. We should listen and understand what the other person is saying before responding to them or passing judgment. I have also learned that some of the people must be loved from a distance. If you put them close, they will hurt you. Then others will never appreciate anything good you do for them.” — Christine.
“In relating with people, bear in mind that they are different from the previous and next person. They have different facial features and so are characters.” — Nyasha.
“I have also realised that often we do not self-introspect to identify areas within us that need correction. Before understanding the next person, I need to fully understand myself and my flaws.” — Shylet.
The ultimate question is where do you belong?
Certainly, you need to understand different facets of your life before you can understand other people. Similarly, we also need to appreciate our differences. Take into account the environment in which one was brought up.
A person’s behaviour as an adult is usually shaped by the way they were raised. You will notice some people change from being nice to being arrogant and rude with time.
The other important factor that contributes to our differences is maturity. Never allow the world to negatively stereotype you.
Always aim to be a blessing to other people by bringing joy, peace and happiness to their lives like the biblical Abraham. God had promised to make him a blessing unto nations, and Abraham became exactly that.
Most times, what seems to be an attack on our person by the other person is not so.
Instead, it is a cry for help!
By lashing out, they need someone to understand that they are under tremendous strain. When they act antagonistically towards you, never react in an obvious manner but instead show peace and kindness.
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