Don't Impose Yourself
It is very frustrating to say the least. Here I am sitting across someone, trying to be a good listener while he rants on about his flawed and inaccurate perception over an issue that I clearly disagree upon. Except that, it’s not flawed for him. It’s flawed from my viewpoint.
We live in a world that’s getting smaller every day. It’s important to be tolerant of others’ cultures and values, recognizing that no one has the right to encroach on another’s freedom. We all had a time where we get a little too excited and direct and had unconsciously imposed upon on others, in a raw way!
We know how annoying it could be when someone tries to impose something on us that we don't care much about. But by whose definition do we decide what is right and acceptable? Who decides that the view presented is flawed, me or him?
MY VIEWS OR NOT
Let's engage over a topic that you are truly passionate about — religion, lifestyle, or even morale. We heard the familiar saying, that sharing is caring. Of course, you care for your friends and family. You want the best for them. So you make it your responsibility to "help" them see from a "higher" perspective. You may even argue that surely this is not imposing because it is done with good intention, out of love. Who knows with enough pestering, you might just save their day!
It’s understandable to feel that way. As humans, we generally navigate based on learned experiences and personalized schema about how the world works. We constantly fall into patterns that help us survive and navigate through life but these patterns also limit us drastically. Within that limitation, we attempt to get our points across.
We share because we deeply want those we care about to get it right, at the same time feeling compelled to justify the validity of our conclusion. With that in mind, we end up nagging and convincing with logic in the hope that perhaps, they would reluctantly but finally concede.
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
– Stephen R. Covey
DO IT MY WAY
The world we live in generously allows us to be who and what we want to be. But being “Me” does not mean imposing on others; rather it is the awareness of what you project and the motive behind your behavior.
These days, everyone seems to have an opinion about everything, biased or not. Debates are plentiful and are often interesting. Problems arise when we become closed-minded and start thinking that our way is the only true way.
What happens if we worked towards honestly listening to another’s perspective? When we hear someone speaking, we have to ask if we are really listening. Or are we busy constructing what should be coming out of our mouth next?
RIGHT OR WRONG
It requires a level of courage and compassion to be willing to hear out someone’s viewpoint even if you are not completely in agreement with them. Are you equipped to decide right and wrong for anyone other than yourself? Would you be willing to compromise on the values and beliefs you hold strongly? If someone chooses to go a certain way, as long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone’s freedom, isn’t that rightfully their choice to make?
You may think, but is that not ultimately self-serving if I know something to be right and kept it to myself? How can we strive towards better quality of life either as a family or community, if I am silent about something that I clearly know is better for them? And what if they found out later on that I am correct? I could have resolved the situation earlier and save someone from unnecessary distress.
Open-minded people don't impose their beliefs on others. They just accept all of life's perspectives and realities, doing their own thing in peace, without judgement.