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Answers: Use Your Eyes; Learn To See

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?
Creative Commons License photo credit: nolifebeforecoffee

A few weeks ago I asked Look Far’s readers two questions:

  • What are some practical tips for seeing people for who they actually are?
  • How can you let another person tell their story first without trying to tell it for them?

This was in response to a comment I received on a post called Use Your Eyes; Learn To See. Here’s what you said:

Notice the “lens” you are seeing through – What kinds of things “tint” your lenses?  We all have different life experiences and necessarily this makes the lens we see through different.  How is the lens you are looking through impacting the way that you see others?

Don’t just use your eyes, use your ears too! – A couple of commenters stated the importance of simply listening.  Even if we become more aware of our “lenses,” we can’t know a person’s story until they tell it to us.  Ears – an extremely important body part. 😉  As one commenter, Chania Girl from Living Happiness, said, “The story’s already being told.”  We just have to be receptive to it.

Oneness and Wholeness – Tess, from The Bold Life, mentioned that often what we see in others, we also see in ourselves.

“My core belief is we are all one. We all have a core of goodness that nothing we do or no person can take away. What I judge another for is the same thing I’ll find myself doing tomorrow.  I also remember “If you spot it you got it.” Another way to define projection!”

In a related idea, if we feel “whole” ourselves than we are less likely to see people for what they can do for us.  We are not always searching for the things that we ourselves lack.

Keep in mind that you don’t know what has made this person the way that they are – Lance from Jungle of Life, commented that we don’t know what has lead a person to the point that they are at now.  Here’s an excerpt from his comment:

“And the truth is, we have no way of knowing what has led up to the point of where they are at in life right now. I try to keep that in mind – that I have no way of knowing what has brought this person to where they are today. For example, a person who has just come from a difficult day at work may be more “on edge” than had that same person had a great day, or for that matter, even an averge day at work – and that can change the way this person interacts with others – based solely upon a one-time event.”

Sometimes our judgments help us avoid danger – While our judgments of other people can get in the way of our relationships, sometimes they help us avoid a person who wants to do us harm in some way.  Balancing open-mindedness with a healthy dose of discretion is the key.

Thanks to everyone who shared their ideas and thoughts!  And thanks to those who read them!  Enjoy!

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Positively Present June 1, 2009, 1:55 pm

    Thanks for posting some of the replies here. It was great to see what some other people said as well as your feedback. I really love what Chania Girl said. That is SO true.

    Positively Present’s last blog post..love, love, love who you are now

  • Chania Girl June 1, 2009, 4:01 pm

    Hi, Amanda. Thank you for this post (and for the surprising little shout-out). Sometimes it is hard to read through everyone’s comments and take the nuggets from them that will enrich us. Today you did this for us, so thank you. Hope you’ve been well … .

    Chania Girl’s last blog post..Putting Humpty Together Again: Mending the Cracked Pot

  • Amanda Linehan June 1, 2009, 9:17 pm

    Hi Dani – You’re welcome. I thought the comments were great. 🙂

    Hi Chania Girl – You’re welcome! I really enjoyed your comment and I loved that line about other people’s stories. Thanks!

  • Christopher June 3, 2009, 9:56 pm

    Great post as always – I have a nerdy blog question. How do you even get the estimated reading time for your posts on the homepage? That’s so cool! Is that automatic or something you do?

    Christopher’s last blog post..Art Class Helps Emotionally Fragile Kids

  • Lance June 4, 2009, 1:47 pm

    Hi Amanda,
    This is a good read today – and reminder for me in how I see people, really. What I like are the different perspectives you’ve shared from others – which help me to look at this from a much wider angle than just based upon my own thoughts here. Thanks Amanda (and all those who’ve added to this article!)

    Lance’s last blog post..Flip It

  • Amanda Linehan June 5, 2009, 2:08 pm

    Hi Christopher – Haha! It’s just part of the plug-in that I use – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/post-teaser/

    Hi Lance – I thought the responses were great and also added some things that I didn’t originally think about! Several brains are better than one, I guess!

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