Why do we fail to see in ourselves the things that others see in us?
You know what I am talking about. Superficially, we see people heading to work and you look at them and ask yourself, ”do they even own a mirror?” People sit in their cars and do all sorts of things that you do only in private, like things with their noses. People wear some of the oddest combinations of clothes.
But on a deeper level, why is it that when someone pays you a compliment out of the blue, we are so surprised? Why are we ashamed when somebody calls us out on something we said or did that hurt someone else’s feelings?
Why are we so unaware of our own selves?
Let me make this abundantly clear, I have no idea! I am not an expert in this field, I am simply asking a question.
Over the years, I have attended many networking events. I go to both to further my knowledge path and to meet and talk with other people in the hopes to expand my horizons. One of the things that people do is ask you about your business. Perfect, I can do that. I love to talk about the stuff that I learn while I find things to write to you about. What is weird for me is when you find somebody else talking about me in front of me. So, it's not a secret. It's not gossip. It is somebody else’s opinion of me and my business. That should be cool. Why am I so uncomfortable?
Part of the reason why, in my opinion, is that we have become an amazingly self-centered world. Even if you are not naturally self-absorbed, we have become a society of talking about ourselves. But, I find, that we rarely listen to what other people think about us. Hmmmm!
If we have differing opinions on social media, we block people. If the opinions are really different, we simply refer to it as hate, rather than listen and learn, or even try to understand, we turn it off. We rarely take the time to actually listen and learn about somebody else’s viewpoint even if the topic is YOU.
So in a world so self-absorbed with ourselves, how can we be so oblivious?
I believe that it is that we are not willing to truly be honest with ourselves. Honesty leads to other people confronting us and most of us would rather do that online than in person, so we just do our best to blend in.
But, I think that means we are living a lie because we aren’t willing to hear what others say. True, our opinion of ourselves is way more important than what others think about us, but we still need to be honest with ourselves and each other.
How, then, do we learn to be more aware of who and what we are? Simple, ask people.
Let’s face it, most people are quite happy to be brutal online. It may not be the truth, but they will definitely share their opinions with you. The trick, I think, is to ask as many people as possible. But, you must be prepared to listen to the answers. Keep asking. Ask easy questions, ask the hard questions. Ask things that seem obvious, and ask things that are subtle. Just ask and then listen.
Listen with an open mind and an open heart. You may be very surprised at what you find out. You may hear a world of hurtful things, or you may blush from all the love, but if you are not willing to hear it in the first place, how will you know how you are impacting others?
The biggest favor we can do for ourselves is to be the best self we can be but if yourself is naturally aggressive, sarcastic, hurtful, and/or negative, then we are not being the best we can be, we are simply being annoying.
If you really want to improve your outward appearance, maybe you should start with your insides, aka your attitude. Learn to love yourself and be loving toward others and you may find that your outward appearance, becomes as loveable as your inward self.
When people express opinions that differ from yours, take it as a chance to grow. Seek to understand over being understood. Be curious, not defensive. The only way to disarm another human being is by listening. – Glennon Doyle Melton