While all of us are interconnected social creatures, we often interfere and influence each other’s decisions.
This particular topic contains quite a few struggles that I have and am still working at diminishing, without diminishing my personality. I have spent all of my years either over or under stepping and finding the balance between saying too much or too little has seemed all but impossible for me. I am aware of and realize that each of us is unique and different; that’s quite obvious. What is difficult is knowing when my ideas come out as orders or “commands.” I often speak in a way that is aggressive or protruding, and throughout the years I have gotten quite a few awkward stares. Over the past 2-3 years, I have gotten much better at knowing how to phrase my thoughts.
What is the acceptable and respectful way to tell someone that you think what they are doing is detrimental to their health? How often do we see others doing something that we are sure will end poorly? How often do those people listen to us when we decide to tell them? I have always been very polite and respectful to adults, as well as to strangers. When people ask me about things I am interested in, I naturally get excited, or nervous to share. My issue here is that I would be utterly oblivious to what the other person was saying or doing, or how they perceived my actions and words. While not every single moment needs an in-depth analysis, sometimes we need to dive deeply into introspection until we understand why we do what we do.
In a single moment, our words and expressions get interpreted remarkably different than what we intended. This event happens more than we would like, and it seems to be the biggest dilemma of human nature. Miscommunication is a huge issue in almost all modern societies, and in our rash, rapid-fire decision making, we misinterpret much of what we are saying to each other. I once heard someone say, “There are three stories: yours, mine, and the truth.” This line couldn’t be more accurate, (especially if it is the truth) and if we can learn to slow down, take our words one at a time and listen carefully, we may be able to save our society from what seems like an impending doom. Maybe.
We all walk our paths, and yet all of us are connected. It has been said that we are all six people apart, meaning that I know someone who knows someone who knows someone… up to six people, who know say, the pope. While this may or may not be true, the point in saying this is that all of our individual actions affect our species and the planet as a whole. Whether or not I held the door open for someone, ever so slightly altered their mood, which influenced their shopping cart later, which influenced the cashier, and so on. What we all struggle with here is knowing when to give advice, and knowing when to let them figure it out and fall(possibly) on their own. It is a tricky balance.
Nobody successful made it there alone.
For all of those people out there who have finished learning, done growing, done improving, I hate to break it to you, but you may have a hard time with that. That sentence right there could be an overstep for some people, while for others it could be the exact thing you needed to hear. Every single famous, successful person got there with the help of many people. Regardless of what you consider success, whether it be lots of money, TV time and fancy stuff, or the poorest of poor like Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi, every single person got there with the help of supporters and believers, or at the very least, customers who were interested in their product.
I have felt alone all through school, feeling like no one, not even my parents understood me. I have grown up thinking that if I wanted something done right, I would have to do it myself. While this has been great at helping me become independent emotionally and physically, I have been very stubborn when people try to help me. I have had a tremendous amount of difficulty in listening and trusting others. While I have always been very trusting of strangers, I have always questioned those closest to me, as I used to blame them for not understanding me and thus my feeling of being alone. This doubt and blame have created a mass of difficulty when knowing who to trust, including me. I am still learning about knowing when I need to take someone else’s advice or take my own.
Over the past two years, I have come to know when my intuition is speaking. I have also learned that I don’t have all of the answers for everyone else. In fact, the more I try to think that I do have the answers, the more I come off as forcing my beliefs on others, and the less they listen to me. On the contrary, I have felt that I always spoke too much in class, and yet this year in psychology, I have had multiple people say that they enjoy when I talk. Yesterday, someone said, “You always seem to know what to say.” Of course, I am aware that this could go to my head, and I am taking it merely as a compliment, but also that people have confidence in my knowledge, most of the time. Failure is still a big part of growing, and I am in love with that process, just as much as doing well.
Contrasting to my minor speaking success in psych class and the positive feedback I received after my self-discipline speech this weekend, at home and in my relationship I still overstep quite frequently. This overstepping is very much due to habit, and being aware of as well as understanding that I do this is half of the battle. The other half is changing behavior.
The fine line is small, and we tend to cross it frequently.
It may be another hundred or even thousand years before human beings perfect and fully understand how to converse with each other. I believe the contrast is necessary, and while we very much need to learn how to agree more and work well together, we are doing better than ever before at integrating each other’s differences. I also believe that our current method of language is far too simple for the complexity of our brains and bodies. We are capable of storing over a thousand gigabytes of storage, possibly even a million. We have not yet created a computer that has that much storage space. Our bodies, our minds, our lives are fragile, finite, unique and full of novelty at every stage of life. We have come so far in learning about ourselves, and yet have so much more to discover.
The combinations of sentence structure and diction are infinite in any language, and how we present ourselves through tone, pitch, facial and body expressions, our appearance, as well as emotional and spiritual attitude (or regard for the quality of life) literally create an uncountable number of ways we can converse with one another. This “fine line” I am talking about has to deal with offending and helping others. I could write an entire book on what and how this line functions, along with why it exists. Let’s save that for later on when I understand it more. For now, it is vital that we all are aware of each other’s space, each other’s beliefs and values.
Being kind to each other is a given, and even that is subjective. I have struggled quite a bit in realizing that what works for me does not work for others. I have had an even harder time accepting the fact that some people thoroughly enjoy facets of life that I find repulsive and even dangerous ( I say this as I had spent quite a few years doing exactly that. I still have a lot to learn.). Over the past few weeks, I have come to understand as well as respect the parts of life I do not have interest in or attraction to. The more I have focused on what my actions are, how I can change myself, and how my behavior affects others, the better the results are when I carry out an action.
This topic is somewhat difficult and has many lines in and of itself. What matters most I think is that we respect one another, regardless of who they are, or what their choices are. Each and every one of us has the basics in common: food, water, warmth, and love. We seem to forget this when we are in the presence of those who are hurting others. While there are no excuses for these matters, there are reasons behind them. When we treat each other as we would our own children, we learn to become more accepting, and thus make the world a better place.
feel free to leave below if you found these words relatable, or have any questions or comments. A smile can do a lot more than you may think. I hope you create a wonderful day!