How many conversations have you had lately that have rubbed you the wrong way? Have you had a conversation with someone where neither of you are understanding what the other is saying or where they are coming from at all? During a conversation have you ever thought, “Wow, where in the world are they are coming from?” Or “Gosh, how can someone even think that?” I’m sure this happens to many of us, probably often. Too often!
I simply do not communicate the same way as most people I encounter. I have pondered this for sometime now, as well as plenty (well..probably too much) self reflection on this subject. Is it me? How can I change? What am I doing wrong? And I find myself exactly where I started – I am simply different.
I will be the first person to tell you that I don’t beat around the bush. I am very direct and communicate accordingly which can be perceived as rude or harsh I am told. Which is never my intention. So i’ve come to the fact that maybe it’s not my communication that is the problem rather the lack of enthusiasm most people put into communication. Everyone communicates differently, that is just one beautiful part about humanity. None of us are the same and that is a wonderful thing!
We are so full of instant gratification now: texts, social media, on demand tv, it’s my assumption that people view conversations, relationships, and life the same way. People don’t usually take the time to have conversations yet alone to try to understand a viewpoint that is different than theirs. That takes some effort and work and it seems no one is willing to put that effort in just to understand someone else.
I was raised, somewhere along the way, to respect others opinions – to try to see others vantage points even if it’s not my own or something I understand. I attempt to put myself in other’s shoes and to not judge something or someone I don’t know anything about. That is exactly what makes me intrigued by people, the differences. Correct me if I’m wrong but I am under the impression that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and feelings. My opinion differing from the other person doesn’t make them wrong; it just makes us different. Is this a common view? Unfortunately, I am told often it is not.
It is perfectly good and fine and all to have a conversation with someone who agrees with you but doesn’t it help us grow. “Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.” I think this begins or at least applies to conversations as well. Why are we so scared of someone who is different than we are? What are we afraid of? Why do we not choose to not see the beauty of the difference in others? Yes, it’s frustrating and yes, as humans we always want to be right, but again, just because it’s different doesn’t make it wrong.
I challenge everyone, including myself, to embrace the difference, to try to see the beauty in it, and it just may surprise you – you may not disagree as much as you think. The more you utilize each other’s strengths (that may be different) the better relationships you will have.