UNDERSTAND YOURSELF FIRST
TO BEGIN WITH...
A DIPLOMAT IS A PERSON WHO THINKS TWICE BEFORE SAYING NOTHING.
IF YOU SPEAK WELL OF PEOPLE ALL THE TIME… YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TO WHISPER.
A DIPLOMAT IS A PERSON WHO IS APPOINTED TO PREVENT SITUATIONS…THAT WOULD NOT HAVE OCCURED IF THERE WERE NO DIPLOMATS.
UNDERSTAND YOURSELF FIRST BEFORE TRYING TO UNDERSTAND OTHERS.
By Lou Goldstein
Before we can even begin to talk about understanding people you must first understand yourself.
Start of by accepting the fact that people are very complex and different.
If we don’t understand ourselves how can we get on well with others?
Well, the short answer is that you can't. Knowing yourself first… opens the door to understanding others and then…walking through the door leads you down the path to being able to establish good and positive relationships with others.
Understanding yourself, is like finding yourself….. and it really is quite simple.
Sometimes our struggle for understanding ourselves takes us away from the reality, which is that while we are all uniquely different… we may have similar goals and aspirations.
And then comes the realization that there is really nothing much to understand . There is just to acceptthat YOU areYOU….. and…..
ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE UNIQUE…JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE.
Now that you accept YOU as YOU …. you must now evaluate yourself.
So far I’ve been putting forth all the effort. Now it’s your turn to do a little work. I didn’t say it was going to be easy.
Take a sheet of paper (a big one) and draw a line in the middle from top to bottom. On the left hand side list what you honestly feel are your 5 major strengths. I can assure you that you can find 5. We all have even more than that.
Really? Do you have to do this? Yes, really! This is important … and you need to do it.
Although, if you list one of your strengths as being good at taking out the garbage… we may have a slight problem.
After listing your strengths now go to the right hand side and list your 5 major weaknesses. I also can assure you that you will find 5.
Here is where the fun begins.
There are no right or wrong answers. If you have been honest with yourself... you wind up with understandings between you and yourself….. defining the inner you.
Take each strength and now analyze them determining the extent of how strong they are within you. For example, if one of your listed strengths is that you are honest ….have a discussion with yourself (that’s not exactly like talking to yourself) and ask exactly how honest you really are.
Keep in mind that we have ALL… at one time or another been dishonest. In fact...take some time to think about some of the dishonest things you can remember doing in your life. You will find that if you consider one of your strengths to be honesty…you really meant “generally honest” …and that’s good.
Don’t worry because you can still consider yourself to be honest (unless you recalled robbing a bank). The point is to assess all of your strengths, analyze them and then list them in order from what you consider to beyour major strength #1…. down to #5.
Now follow the same process with your weaknesses on the right hand side.
After you finish this take a rest.
When you determine you are now rested…and once again have a clear mind (that is assuming you had one in the first place) come back to your lists and take each item one at a time. Jot down a few notes (as many as you can think of) …about how you might work on improving your strengths and eliminating (or reducing) your weaknesses.
We have already acknowledged and accepted the fact that YOU are YOU. We are just now working on making …YOU… better.
THE FIRST PERSON WHO HAS TO BELIEVE IN YOU…IS YOU
After understanding and accepting your strengths and weaknesses you are now in a position to overcome obstacles that may come your way…and improve your abilities to understandingother people. Keep referring to your notes and add additional ones as more ideas come to your mind about how you can improve your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses. You can actually begin to add more strengths, and yes, even discover some more weaknesses. This is all good.
Now you are beginning to keep a journal… and maybe someday you might write your own book.
THE GREATEST WEAKNESS FOR MANY PEOPLE...IS THAT THEY DON’T REALIZE THEIR OWN STRENGTH
Now…what about understanding people?
Nobody knows everything there is to know about people. In fact, most people don't even know themselves. That's why if you understand YOU...there is a better chance for you to understand others.
Why are some people mean or hurtful?
Not all people who appear to be mean and hurtful act that way intentionally.
Usually, the hurt you feel is actually a side effect. That is because most people are mainly focused on themselves and don’t have genuine empathy for others. It’s not that they don’t care about you … it’s just that they care more about themselves. This is a reality of life.
So, if a person appears to be treating you in a mean and hurtful way, don’t take it personally, or even literally.
Ask them if they mean to be treating you in that manner, and if so, why?
Hopefully, the ensuing discussion will clarify and straighten out the problem, assuming there actually is one, and bring some civility to the situation.
We must also realize that there are some people who really do intend to be mean and hurtful. That’s just the way they are. It’s up to you to decide how much time you want to spend (waste) with them.
Why don’t people always respond to you?
If you feel something and keep it to yourself then nobody else knows about it. If they don’t know about it…how can they respond?
So you can’t be upset with anyone who doesn’t respond to you unless you let them know howyou feel…and then…ask them how they feel... about how you feel.
They should not only respond… but now, you are beginning what should be a clarifying and decisive discussion.
DON''T LET YOURSELF GET FRUSTRATED...IT'S SO FRUSTRATING
Is everyone emotional?
Yes, but in varying degrees. Some people are overt and undisguised in expressing their emotions and we can treat them accordingly. We know if they are upset, happy, sad or excited. This enables us to decide how to react.
Then there are those who keep their emotions hidden so we don’t know how they feel.
Just because they are not screaming or striking out about something doesn’t mean that every thing is all right. We all have our problems and anxieties. We need to be sensitive to other’s inner feelings and draw them out in order to be able to communicate.
Once again, we turn to asking questions. It’s amazing how much we can learn about people by asking questions.
“How do you feel about____?” “What do you think we should do?” “Tell me about what’s going on inside you?” The answer you get to the first question leads to guess what? That’s right….another question and before you know it you have a clearer picture.
DON'T COMPARE YOUR LIFE TO OTHERS...YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEIR JOURNEY IS ALL ABOUT
Are most people lonely?
I wouldn’t say that most people are lonely... but I will say that people are quite sensitive about being rejected or dismissed from general acceptance and this causes a feeling that could be construed as loneliness. This is very common, so in this respect, if you feel that you are lonely….you are not really alone.
HAPPINESS IS NOT HAVING WHAT YOU WANT...IT'S WANTING WHAT YOU HAVE
We'll continue to talk more about people as we go forward....or backwards (depending on where you started...or...finished...or....forget it).
See you next time,