If there's one thing that I've learned so far in my life, it's that we are NOT responsible for how other people see the world. AND - at the same time, in any communication - it is the responsibility of the person DOING the communication to communicate in a way that the receiver will understand.
This is where empathy comes in. Empathy is one of the main keys to success that I know. Not just in business, but in personal life as well.
Webster's defines empathy as, "understanding and being sensitive to the experience of another." If we can do this, not only will we be able to understand ourselves more, but we will also be able to understand others. And in this sweet spot is where magic REALLY happens.
There's a saying in Al-Anon, they call it the three C's - and they apply to the actions and problems of another, or the recognition that we are truly powerless to control someone else... The three C's are:
1. I didn't cause it.
2. I can't control it.
3. I can't cure it.
These three C's ask us to remain humble in our approach to others and hint that AT BEST all we have is influence. But the idea that we are not responsible for the actions of others in our lives is both profound, and at the same time, can also sound very cold.
I am not suggesting that we don't CARE about others, of course not. This blog is not intended to turn you into a narcissist. But what I'm trying to highlight is the idea that when we realize we are off the hook for the experience of other people, we begin to take our power back. Of course we want to be loving, to care, to provide aid, support and nurturing to those who we love - and at the same time know that we are not responsible for how the other person reacts.
The paradox of this is that we are also partially responsible for how the other person reacts. Because in our communication, if we have empathy towards another and understand where they are coming from and what their beliefs are, we have the best chance at influencing them. If we only talk from OUR limited perspective and take only our beliefs to be true, then we are living in a smaller world.
Only thinking life should be how you see it isn't empathetic or understanding, it's simply just a projection of your worldview onto ALL things. Empathy and understanding call us to open our hearts, to see the point of view of others and to speak from a place that would resonate most with them. While at the same time knowing that we are off the hook for how THEY show up.
As with most things in life, Truth is a paradox. When we can accept that, we have taken a leap into a larger world.
So, if you are taking on the responsibility for how others feel or expecting others to only see your way and life isn't flowing, how could you apply these principles to your life today?
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!