Liz raised her hand. As soon as she was called on, she let my co-worker know that her feelings were hurt. As the teacher asked her why, Liz began to explain that she was trying to talk to the girl in front of her, but the girl kept rolling her eyes and not wanting to talk. The teacher asked Liz what she desperately needed to tell the other girl. And Liz simply replied with, “Well……..I just wanted to talk to her about life and stuff like that…”
Ah. The typical type of misunderstanding you are bound to find in a second grade classroom 😉 In the eyes of one girl, Liz was not talking about something of interest to her. In Liz’s eyes, what she had to say was of the utmost importance! It’s all about perspective.
Today’s post stems from a moment of thinking that came my way during a conversation I was having with a dear pal. (Does anyone use that word anymore??) From my friend’s point of view, it was simply a joke. From my (overanalyzing, a little more sensitive than the normal amount) viewpoint, it was definitely not just a joke. And so begins my simple and short post about the importance of having perspective.
The way you perceive a situation may be completely different from the way someone else perceives it. This may seem like common sense, but more often than not, I am either in situations or witness situations where I step back and think, “Ah. Maybe that wasn’t the best thing to say right here & right now, etc.” To the joke-teller, it might just be that. A joke. But to the other person, it may trigger a memory, an insecurity, or just a bad feeling. At the same time, understanding and a balance has to be given and received from both sides of a situation.
At the same time, this doesn’t just have to do with conversations that are had. This can also trickle into the idea of understanding why people may behave in a certain way. Think about the person who may have a frown on their face, or the person that may respond to you in a rude manner. Boom. Perspective. How will you respond? Will you show love and grace? Or, will you allow your limited perspective to cause you to jump to conclusions and allow your temporary emotions and reactions to rule you?
Growing up, I’ve known myself to be the person who will cry when a video of a puppy plays, a father-daughter dance, every. single. wedding. video., you name it. I would get my feelings hurt when someone gave me an ugly look, and it may not even have been meant for me, but a person behind me! Over the past couple of years and more so in the past couple of months, I’ve had to really reflect and think about what is actually being said/done, instead of allowing my emotions to drive me and simply take it for face value.
It brings a lot of understanding to us when we are able to engage with situations with the other person’s perspective in mind. So, the next time you & I react to something in a not-so-positive manner, think about the “why.” It will help us understand ourselves better as well as others. And again, all of this isn’t going to be something that will change overnight. (Side note: if it does for you- please let me know how you did it!!) For the common person, this is a process that will take some time.
Oh. And Liz? She and her friend are just fine now. Liz had the chance to talk to her friend about you know. “Life and stuff.” 🙂