Throughout my life, I’ve developed a very firm belief on this matter: If it is big to you, then it is a big problem. We are composed of so many chemicals that the slightest change can drastically alter us in ways that are unimaginable. We humans have developed for thousands of years at this point, but only in relative recent history have we started to live the way we do in buildings with very little activity required. Truly, the majority of the dangers that our ancestors went through are just non-existent now. Granted, we have our own new worries and dangers, but they are seldom as physically pressing.
The point of this intro is to highlight that we have evolved into who we are today, our bodies have not evolved to realize that some of the problems and pain that we go through may be trivial. Our body reacts as if everytime we are in a stressful situation or a mentally painful one, that it is very serious.
Obviously, there are problems that people, and children more often than adults will go through and they will react as if it is the most terrible thing that could ever have happened. Whereas, any reasonable adult will likely see that it is in fact, not a big deal. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t actually a really big deal to the person involved. We have no way of being inside someone else’s head at any time for any reason, which means we have to trust people to a certain extent whether we want to or not.
A teenager going through the stages of breakup can feel a pain that feels very powerful and to them, it will be just as painful as someone else losing their loved one of some odd years of marriage. These things, are NOT the same. But, when it comes down to it, it might well feel the same. And this is before the person who has lost a loved one receives the support from other loved ones and the teenager is scoffed at for being upset over their recent loss. If they weren’t comparable beforehand, they certainly are after. Too often do I see that teenagers are given salt from their family’s and friends instead of helping them as most would do in what we consider a major event. Truly, it causes so many problems in the teenager when all it would take to let them know that it matters is just a few minutes of your time to listen to them.
But, all that aside.
The title of today’s post is “See through your eyes, and walk a day in someone else’s shoes.”
Simply put, you can always try to walk in someone else’s shoes, as we all should at some point. But you cannot see the world as they see it. You may only experience a fraction of what they do to hope to understand some of what their life is. There is no way for me to go through everything you do in a day and have anywhere near the same reaction. But, I can have a better understanding of why you do the things you do if I’ve done so.
The world is filled with great and terrible things, people who want to help, people needing help, and the two put together. In order to help people, you must always be prepared to listen to everything they are saying and genuinely care about their problem and making them feel better.
If your goal is simply: FEEL BETTER
That won’t work, you’re going to have to help someone with THEIR problem. Which, might just be that they lost their pink balloon to the vicious winds. It might also be that they’ve lost a close family member. The interesting thing to note about both of these examples: Most people don’t know what to say for either event!
It’s so easy to get tunnel vision when presented with something we see as trivial or detrimental, even though both problems can only have the same response. Genuinely listen, genuinely care, and just be there for them. Sometimes a new balloon can help, sometimes reminiscing with old movies may help. You never know, each person is different, and they see the world with an entirely different set of eyes. Even if you’re both wearing the same shoes. (If you both have the same problem.) Everything will be different for them than it was for you.
You can experience the exact same things as I have from birth, without any deviation from each-other, and yet you and I might be completely different people.
I’m so lost. What’s the point of this post?
The point of this post is this:
Everyone has a different world that they live in, even though we all live together in this one. No matter how you look at it, and no matter your intentions for someone else, the same problem/solution for you will have an entirely different outcome for someone else. So don’t try and approach everyone with the exact same train of thought. In order to be a people person, in order to help people, to make them smile, you must always approach people with an open mind and be willing to listen to them. Remember who they are, they are a unique person who you have not met. Even if they have all the same experiences as you do, they are not you.
A parting question if you’ll indulge: