So often we look past the message that others are intending to deliver/express because of a simple misunderstanding of one word or phrase. We assume what the other person means based on the definition we have applied to a particular word or phrase and we believe others should see things the same way.
This simple misunderstanding is the cause of much conflict in the world. At first, this may seem like a naive statement, but at closer glance it is actually a microcosm of the human condition- the deep yearning to be heard and understood. We all want to be heard, yet we unconsciously sabotage the very thing we want most by assuming our definition must be universal. And in the midst of this, we end up limiting the ability of others to be heard. From this place of feeling not heard, frustration, anger and aggression can ensue and well….we all know how that can turn out.
The lenses we choose to perceive the world from and the meanings we have developed are rooted in our individual life experiences and the interpretations we have attached to those experiences. Our life experiences are much different than those of any other human being and as such our individual meanings/interpretations of the world will follow suit. Plain and simple, we are all wearing different lenses.
Understanding and embracing this simple and vital truth can literally change the face of human relations. It can motivate us to express ourselves differently- aiming to be truly understood and at the same time, from a place of curiosity rather than certainty, we can allow others to be truly heard and understood.
In future conversations, practice being curious as to what meanings others give to their words. You may be surprised….