Years ago I made the mistake of thinking that everyone else thought and behaved exactly like I do. This egocentric view of the world led to all sorts of relational problems because I was judging people based off of what their actions would mean if I had just behaved like they did. The problem with this is that we are all different. We all know this intuitively but somehow the temptation is always present to disregard this truth when we interact with others.
How I behave and how I handle myself is likely going to be very different than how anyone else does. And, if I force others into conforming to be a mirror image of me then all I have done is judge and alienate everyone.
For most relationships and most interactions our primary goal is to communicate effectively. This means caring for the other person, not being an egomaniac, and listening more than we speak. Tony Robbins teaches that we all have different ways of interacting with the world and if we want to communicate effectively with each other, we have to take a moment and ask ourselves what form of communication and behavior would be honoring to the person with whom we are interacting. It’s a crazy concept I know: caring enough about someone else to come to them first instead of demanding that they come to us and bend to us.
One of the laws of life is that whatever we give, we always get more back in return. When I first started volunteering 20 years ago I was upset that I always seemed to get more than I gave when I was trying to help someone else. As I have grown older the truth is that this is a beautiful gift to us all. If we listen first, and try to meet everyone more than half way, what we will get back in return will seem miraculous and life will never be the same again!
I am going to dedicate the rest of this year to really trying to listen to people, learn how they want to be interacted with, and trying my best to honor them with everything I say and do. I invite you on this journey with me.
To make this even more simple the formula is: 2 ears + 1 mouth = listen twice as much as you speak.
This message written by Dr. Reagan Anderson.