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#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?
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  • no profile photo CD2702433
    After living in a small town for six years, my attitude and outward display changed somewhat... . Waving at people and saying hello to everyone that you see on the street or bike path. Actually talking to people in the grocery store or checkout line!
    Moving back to the "big city", my habit still hasn't changed much. I still say hello to people I pass on the street, talk to strangers in the grocery store (and yes sometimes I get some strange looks) and wave. I get all kinds of reactions, sometimes I am even ignored. I try not to let it get to me when someone acts like I am invisible, 'cause it makes me sad for them that they cannot, even just for a second, reach out and connect.
    4120 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5178852
    4120 days ago
    So true. Someties it can be so draining to be constantly positive & encouraging. We must not forget to recharge ourselves. How we approach our day & the people we deal with can make our day go easily or tough to get through. : )
    4120 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    As always, I look forward to what you have to say and this one is truly bronzed in GOLD. If only everyone would follow this advice. 99% of the problems today would disappear. I have always tried to follow this and usually succeed. Alot of times you can visibly see the change in people just because they have been treated with respect and caring, no matter how they started out the contact. As always, Lou, this is another emoticon blog.
    4121 days ago
    Sure do love your message today. There really is good in everyone, sometimes we just have to look a little deeper.
    4121 days ago
  • LINDA25427
    When I worked in public I was taught that the customers always right so if they where being mean and I mean being mean I would still have to smile and be polite but I did learn that most people just want to be treated like human being . So if I can offer someone a kind word or a smile that makes me happier . Hope you have a great week . God bless. Hugs and a smile.
    4121 days ago
    I would hope they would respond in kind. Sometimes they don't. I still have to be kind, though, regardless their reaction, treating them as worthwhile human beings, because they are.
    4121 days ago
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