Viewpoints! Everyone has them and they are personal. However, when you believe that only your view is correct, you shut out other people and do not listen to the facts they are giving.
Your brain's “Reticular Activating System" will actually filter away anything that is in contradiction to these beliefs. Basically, you close off communication and any connection with the other person. And where there is no communication, there is no mastery of your life.
It is important to understand that our viewpoints are based on our outlook in life.
This outlook has been shaped and molded by:
Our own biases
How we were raised in what culture, religion and society
How we were educated, to what level and in what area
Our life experience- that which has happened in our lives
Our expectations of others and ourselves
Our relationships with others and ourselves
There is more than one viewpoint and many situations have multiple viewpoints. If we can back away from ours and look at someone else's side, we are then able to have a greater understanding of the others person’s point of view. Only then can true understanding and communication may proceed. This does not mean agreeing with the other person. It means trying to understand theirs.
For some people there is a fear to looking at others viewpoints. I have heard people say, what if I am wrong and what if everything that I have believed is wrong?
First, just because ours are different, doesn't mean you are wrong. It just means different. This is a lesson that many people in the world still need to understand in order for compassion and wisdom to enter into their lives. Sadly, there are many who would rather live a life of horror and devastation rather that see that there are different ways of doing things.
Ask yourself, if you ever believed that you had to get others to accept your way of seeing things? Even if you had force it on them. And ask, why?
If you believe that only your viewpoint is right, you make everyone else wrong. In the right / wrong game, there is no understanding, no connection, no communication, and ultimately, no achieving what you desire to. People get defensive when they believe that you are making them wrong, just because you see things differently from them.
For example, the words new, expensive and luxury have different meanings for different people. To one person, new may mean getting an outfit at a second hand store. It is new to that person. To another, new would be never worn by anyone. An expensive item to one person may be a $20.00 gift and to another it would be a $1,000.00.
Luxury items to one person my mean, TV, a trip, a computer and to another these items may be considered a necessity. None is right or wrong, they are just different outlooks with different values. Ask yourself, what do I consider luxury and necessity and why?
Often our assumptions form our views and we look for facts that help prove this. We can even start seeing things that are not there, just to prove we are right. When we stop to realize there may be different ways of looking at things and different possible conclusions, we then can take a step back and see from the others viewpoint. We can then connect with them and see life and other people on a completely new level.
Remember from A to C there are many paths of B. Just because you found one does not make it the only way.
Steven Covey stated it succinctly when he said, We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions.
I wish you great joy and amazement as you discover this for yourself.
All the Best!
The Master Communicator
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Overcoming Barriers to Communciation