I have had so many friends teach me so many things this past year, and that’s making this post really difficult to write!
There is a person who keeps coming to mind though, so I’m going with her. We met randomly and through social media were able to stay connected. She and I have a lot of similar philosophies about what we’re all here on the planet for. Similar life experiences, as well. We connected instantly, and I am really grateful to have her in my life.
One day we were talking over lunch and the topic of angry/disheartened people came up.
We’ve all felt like this cat at one time or another right?
She said something, though, that I will never forget. She feels that every single person is an extension of herself. So when somebody approaches her with a negative attitude, rather than get offended or upset she sees that person as an extension of herself. She has been angry before. She has been negative before. She knows what that’s like. She just sees that person as herself when she was angry or negative, and suddenly her attitude about that person shifts from upset or judgmental to compassionate and caring. “Who knows what that person is going through right now” she said, “we’re not in their shoes. You just never know.”
This is a HUGE insight. Imagine if everyone had this same insight. We could all see each other for exactly who and what we are, rather than our own projections. We could accept each other for exactly who we are in that moment, without judgment. That “rude” customer will be seen differently, which will ultimately change that customer’s attitude. When you’re being nasty, you know how people are going to respond to you…and it won’t be nice, right? But, what if someone responded in a caring and loving way? You would have no choice but to bring your guard down, calm down, and see things differently.
People respond to different people differently. I hate when someone tells me their feelings about someone else because then that’s stuck in my head and hinders my ability to see that person for who they really are. You’ve seen this before. “Man, she’s so rude. She always interrupts when I’m talking.” Then I meet her and guess what – I’m waiting for her to interrupt me! So now when I hear those things I just ignore them and try to see each individual for exactly who they are. It doesn’t always work, but I just think it’s fair to that other person.
What about you? What have you learned from a friend this year? Please answer in the comments section below!