This world is filled with different types of people. There are people who get along great, people who have a fiery hatred for others and then there are those who are impartial to others. Our opinions of others only have 3 general options which are positive, negative and neutral. These opinions are formed by pulling in information about the other person and then comparing that information with our own values. If that information is compatible with our values it forms a positive opinion. If the information conflicts with our values, a negative opinion is formed. If there is some spot in the middle, it creates an impartial opinion of the other person.
The Beauty of Being Different
This world is full of people. There are almost 7 billion people and the number only keeps rising. There are new people born every second with different cultures, different parents, different living situations, and different economic statuses. The list could go on forever but I am sure you get the idea. Our personalities are molded in our early years. Between 3 and 6 years of age, the personality gets set in stone and starts to develop over the years of our lives. This personality is solely dependent on how the child is raised and what they experience early on in life. On average, a personality takes about 50 years to fully develop. Plenty of mistakes and bad decisions are made on this journey and this is the path of just about anybody who is alive. The beauty is that there is a paradox where we are all so different and yet so much alike at the same time.
How a Human Sees the World
Over time we as a human race have developed the ability to see the world in bright and vivid colors. We observe and record information from this vast world of data during every second of our waking day. Any physical object that we see during our day is data as far as our brains are concerned. The process starts with an object that we focus our attention on. Light reflects off of the surface of these objects and the light travels to our eyes. When this light enters our eyes, it gets sent to our optic nerve where it is then transferred to our brain as raw data. It is then our brains job to interpret this data into a way that we can understand. All humans our imperfect which means our interpretation of this data can be wrong. In fact, we misinterpret data every day without even being aware of it and some people walk around like they have never been wrong in their lives. Not only is this arrogant, it is unrealistic and delusional.
How We are Molded to See the World
As stated briefly earlier in this post, our personalities are determined in the first couple years of life. All parents have a style of teaching their children about life. Some parents on not there as much as they should and some parents are there too much sheltering their children from the harsh reality that awaits them when they leave the nest to be on their own. The responsibility of parenting is more of an art than a science and will never be perfected by anybody. Parents who emphasize thinking too much can cause a person to have an extreme lack of feelings. Then there are parents who emphasize feeling so much that it can cause a person to have an extreme lack of logic. Take these two extremes and mix them together and there will be disagreements, arguments and possibly some yelling as well. This is just one example of how we are all molded differently and there are several other factors that should be taken into consideration. For the sake of the length of this post, we will save those for a later date.
Conflict Often Leads to Resentment
Everybody has an ego. Some have inflated egos while others do not have enough respect for themselves to let their ego do what it is meant to. Conflict arises when two or more people do not agree on something. If it is discussed calmly and sensibly, it is called a debate. If there is yelling and bickering, it is called an argument. There is a very fine line between these two types of communicating and it is a quick spiral downward as soon as one becomes intolerant of the other person’s opinions.
The big problem is that many people take others’ opinions personally when they do not match up with their own. When there are different stances on an opinion, each person takes their sides and they do their best to defend them. As soon as a side is threatened, defense mode turns on and the calm debate turns into a heated argument. Arguments heat tempers up and then things are said that are not truly meant. This leads to resentment and ultimately dislike for the other person in many cases. Most of the time it is not the difference in opinions that put a wedge between people but it is how they express their opinions and how they show what they think of the other person’s ideas.
The Key to Getting Along is Understanding Others
There have been billions of instances where someone gets offended by the actions of another. The problem is that what one finds offensive, another may find it completely normal. It is all dependent on personality type and all the factors mentioned earlier that make a person who they are. Many times people take offense to something when the intention was not to offend anybody. As people we can find things in others that we find offensive and annoying but it is important to always keep in mind that everybody is different.
What is the point of being offended by something and starting an argument when offending someone was not the intention of the person in question? That is literally starting a fight not for a good reason but because there was not a fundamental understanding of other people. These fights have no point and usually do not have a happy ending. Both parties many times will walk away angry, confused and uncomfortable when the entire situation did not have to play out the way it did.
My Call of Action for You
Next time someone offends you, just stop and think for 10 seconds, “Is this person intending to offend me?” Chances are that they are not trying to do any harm to you, they are just being themselves. Calling people out on something when they feel they are acting completely normal has a way of angering them and making them feel like your intention is to offend them. Fighting does not solve anything and the biggest way to avoid fights is to respect others’ values, views and opinions. Learning to avoid pointless obstacles is crucial to becoming a happier person and to becoming a more successful person. The way to avoid many of those pointless obstacles is simply by being tolerant of others’ perspectives. Sometimes it may be difficult to do this but isn’t anything that will improve your life worth it?
“We are the Young Life Perception”