It’s been a week since my 28th birthday. I’ve been thinking about a few things. One thing stands out.
As I look back, I’ve realized, I’ve had to learn how to think from other people’s perspective. It is an ability I’ve had to acquire; not something that has come naturally to me. Since my default mode is to think only from my point of view, it has almost always led to differences with people I interact with. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced this. But it’s something I wanted to improve about myself.
Although I’ve gotten much better (although there’s still a long way to go), I’ve come up with one mental habit that makes it easier for me to acknowledge differences with others. During times when I feel a negative emotion citing someone’s inability to look through my perspective, I only have to ask myself: Do you want the other person to be just like you? What sort of a world would that be like? How would it feel like to live in that kind of a world?
Although I would be able to come up with a few positive traits, it’s astonishing how much the negatives outweigh the positives. If I were to draw a list, I would come to just one conclusion: the world wouldn’t be better off if everyone saw the world like I did.
The next time I’m sliding back to my habitual pattern of getting agitated about why the other person isn’t coming to grips with my perspective, I will run through this mental habit. I invite you to try it too.