photo by: Mario Pleitez
“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” -Ralph Ellison
The most powerful way to connect with another person is simply to “see them.” When we build relationships, we are often puzzled at exactly how a connection forms. Most of the time our relationships occur spontaneously, and we don’t have the first clue as to what actually happened. Sometimes we deliberately want to form relationships (when we are networking, perhaps), and we want to know the best way to connect with people. Our best clue is that people simply want to be seen for what they are, and not for what we “put onto” them.
Usually, when we have a relationship with someone (friendships, working relationships, romantic relationships) we spend some time judging that person (or some aspect of them) right or wrong, we agree or disagree with them, we label and categorize them, etc. These responses are natural ways that we try to understand our world, but they are also detrimental to the quality of relationships we develop.
When you simply “see” someone, this person no longer becomes what you want them to be, but what they actually are. (Well, they always were what they are, but you didn’t see them like that!) Seeing someone means that you observe or interact with them without judgment. An individual is made up of their unique feelings and thoughts, their perspective on life and their particular personality among other things, and all of these things exist with or without you . To notice (and appreciate) these things about another is a gift you give to them. You don’t expect anything from them, you acknowledge them as they are.
And everyone wants to feel that the way they are is exactly the way they should be. 🙂
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