“Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see” John Lennon
We all understand things from our own perspective and our own amount of knowledge. This obviously leads to a lot of miscommunication, misunderstanding and wrong opinions. It really makes a difference when you're able to sit back and take time to reflect on how other will react to things and how people manage and deal with things. As I'm very knowledgable on the topic, mental illness is going to be the example I use throughout this post.
You have a friend, they have gone through a lot of traumatic things in their lifetime. Comparatively, you've lived the same amount of years and haven't experienced half of what they have experienced. Do you taw the time to learn and understand from their perspective, or do you just make observations and hold a false perception of the traumatic events? It's up to you. Honestly, you have choice over this. But in saying that, life is so damn complicated because of misunderstandings and assumptions.
How do you understand from your own perspective?
You take all the things you think you know, and understand it from that level. Take a topic you don't really know much about and have a think about how you perceive it. Did you research it or talk to someone who knows a lot about it prior to your understanding? This is important. How you came to that understanding is important. I used to have a friend that thought accepting my traumatic events was to tell me how they dealt with an event not even remotely similar and wouldn't accept how I dealt with it. That's a good reason why learning to understand from other perspectives is important.
How can I change my thinking?
Admit you don't actually understand. That's very important also. Take the time to think about how those things might affect someone, by things I mean the topic or situation. Take the time to look into other people's experiences and then draw on how you think about those experiences. Then you begin to understand in a clearer perspective, not entirely but you do have a more empathetic understanding.
This is a lot of work, huh?
Yes, it is a lot of work. However, being able to see a broader perspective is priceless and works in your favour 9 times out of 10 for a lot of things such as: conflict resolution, being a shoulder to cry on and healthy debates/discussion. It makes for healthier thinking and a good transition from ruminating!
It's easier looking to understand people rather than fighting them. It makes for a more peaceful existence with less hate and grudges, that's wishful thinking however! This is only a small post, but I thought it was a tad important. I'm going to expand on this in a few weeks time!