#142: How Do You See Others?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Most of us are familiar with the Biblical admonishment to "Do unto others as we would have them do unto us."
Perhaps that saying can be modified a bit to say, "See others as you would have them see you."
For we treat others the way we see them. If we perceive someone as caring and compassionate, we are most likely going to treat them with care and compassion in return. But if we see someone as malicious we are likely to treat them with indifference, perhaps even spite, even if our perception of the person is not truly accurate.
We all want to be treated with respect and dignity and we want people to like us. But can this happen if we project that we don't like other people in return because of the way we perceive them?
I've heard life compared to an echo -- what signals are sent out are returned to us in kind. Send out negative vibes and watch people avoid you. Send out positive feelings, however, and watch people soften their reaction to you.
This is true for how we treat other people. If we see them as positive, encouraging and dynamic, we want to spend time with them, don't we? But we avoid those Negative Nellies and Negative Neds that we see filled with meanness and gossip.
How do you feel when someone smiles at you? Don't you smile back and feel better about things? We project our behavior toward others based on how we see them. And, others base their reactions to us based on how they see us, on the mood and attitude we exude.
So shouldn't we try to view people as interesting, friendly and inspiring and treat them as such?
If we were to do that, what do you think their reaction to us would be?