Understanding People

Originally Posted July 19 2016

You will never fully understand people…Yes, I the guy who always boasts and complains intuition and empathy being my strongest traits am saying this… but there are different types of “understanding” people and you will never 100% get it…

I say this because I’ve been seeing it all the time lately….

“At least we aren’t wasting our lives reading or playing video games like some people.”
“At least we aren’t musclebound idiots who live off of testosterone and violence considering it progress!”

“Why would someone waste their vacation with no plan or project?”
“Why would someone waste their vacation with more stress?”

“Why would someone waste their life chasing things that don’t make money like writing, acting, art, counseling, etc?”
“Why would someone waste their life chasing things that are as unrewarding as being rich only to not be able to enjoy their riches because they’re so busy trying to get richer?”

“Some people just don’t know how to let go of their childhood.”
“Some people just don’t know how to live an adulthood worth living.”

the list goes on! And the part I find the most ironic is that most of these arguments are actually about the same thing from different sides. What it basically boils down to is this:

“Not everyone is you.”

I know this should seem obvious. But this is actually kind of a scary thought.

We live in a world where a) you will probably believe that you are living life to the best of your abilities. and b) you will want some level of confirmation that you are living life correctly.

In regards to the first. You believe you are living life the best of your abilities. You only found suffering down ____ road so that must mean everyone will right? Not necessarily…. I mean I’m going to throw it out here and now. There is a right and wrong in this world, and there are things out there that should be stood up against and warned that people are wrong for doing it…. but there are also a lot of things that are just differing in opinions…. Each side has their different flaws… perhaps even both sides are wrong… but the arguments raised are so identical that they are almost painful to listen to.

Realize you are not other people. Personally I feel more comfortable around 1 on 1 conversations with non pushy people and don’t like feeling forced. I get heat stroke super easily, am asthmatic, am good at seeing the big picture but struggle with just doing what I’m told because I’m told, love good stories, etc… the list goes on. I realize and am reminded very frequently that people like me are rare, and possibly non existent 😛 But that’s okay. The world doesn’t need another me, it’s got me…. But others are different. They have different strengths, different weaknesses, different interests, different things bore them… And I have to realize that is not a fault of their own… and they will face different problems that I may find easy to avoid because of their nature… but it’s who they are

In regards to the second part. We want to feel confirmation on what we are doing is right. We don’t like hearing people say that something we love is dangerous, a waste of time, or destructive. We don’t like hearing people say something we’ve done great good in is evil. We don’t like hearing people trash and tear apart things that matter a lot to us. I’m sure in the examples listed there was at least ONE argument that made you want to argue back, I tried to be thorough… but the truth is that when we argue out of anger and fear vs out of wanting to help and protect… we end up just making a bigger problem. We let emotions drive us instead of advise us and this causes the two sides to become more and more polarized.

So what is the solution? Well that is a complicated question. Truth is, you just have to ask yourself “Why does this matter so much to me.” and then ask “Am I really reading this right?” Finally look at that person’s life… not under the stereotype of what they should be suffering as, but by what they’re doing and what they’re losing. Because here is the thing. You may have a GENUINE reason for hating something. Maybe you got bullied in that area growing up. Maybe a friend who was obsessed over something took his life. Maybe your friends are constantly being hurt by people from a certain clique or interest. Maybe you’re reading a lot of DOOMSAYING from the newspapers and social media about it. The question is… is it what they are doing that is causing these problems? Or is it something else?

Obsession, pride, envy, greed, anger, lust, fear…. these driving forces are dangerous no matter what you are doing. Whether you’re obsessively checking your phone, checking the score, playing a game, buying car parts. Whether you are proud that you know better than anyone because you read a lot, because you watch the news a lot, because you study a lot. Whether you envy someone with a better house than you, a better job than you, a better entertainment system than you, a better vacation than you. Whether you want more money, more thrills, more distractions, more items. Whether you find pleasure from thrills, from compliments, from finishing projects. Whether you fear being left behind, being weak, facing life, becoming someone you knew… If these are the reasons you do something…. eventually you are going to get into trouble…. but that is not the fault of what you do. It is the fault of WHY you do it.

Stop focusing on the WHAT and ask the WHY.

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