The Psychology EDIT August ’23

Things I heard last week…
Person #1: “I’m dreadin the end of summer…not looking forward to the ramped up craziness of fall.”
Person #2: “I can’t wait for the summer to be over, I love the cooler weather, sweaters, the holidays.”
Person #3: “End of summer means my kids are going back to college and school–the house will be too empty.”
Person #4: “I can’t wait for my kids to go back to college and school, I’ll get my time back!”
Person #5: “I’m dreading school–so much homework, pressure, tests. I don’t want summer to end.”
Person #6: “I’m so excited for school to start–I love seeing my friends every day…it’s gonna be a good year!”
I really love the moments in life that nudge us to consider the perspective of others. I talk about perspective a lot because it is so is important for the health of every relationship. But, as humans, we battle ourselves: it is easy to think that our own point of view is the correct one. But, instead, let’s recognize that a particular perpective can work for ourselves, but not be right for another person. It’s not a matter of the right way or the wrong way, but a different right for each person–even those with whom we are close.
Here are five thoughts to help us all consider the perspective of others:
  1.  Think about color or food preference. It’s easy to understand how someone could have a ‘favorite’ color or food that’s different than our own. This is simple to accept because it’s a low-stakes preference. Now, allow yourself to generalize this to other, more high-stakes differences. It’s harder to do, but requires equal consideration becuae each person is entitled to their own preferences, no matter how significant.
  2. Listen to the ‘why’. Encourage the other person to tell you all the reasons they hold their point of view or beliefs. Really listen and consider the reasons for that person’s perspective based on their life experiences, not your own.
  3. Resist the urge to stand firm on your own POVThe more we try to convince others to see things our way, the less likely they are to do so, and when we refuse to consider their perspective, the wall of difference just grows taller, and communication breaks down.
  4. Accept differences. It’s possible that, ultimately, you will not be able to agree on perspective. This is difficult, especially if the difference is with a family member or close friend, but each person needs to make the life choices that are right for them–even if it is difficult for us.
  5. Humans have capacity for dramatic changeYou may not believe that you are capable of changing your perspective, but you are! And if you do, your world will become a bigger, more loving space.