As per the wise words of J.K Rowling, “Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” We are living in an age where everyone is running out of patience, and that is because we put no effort into Understanding Others.
The requirement & ability to understand others guides us that this capacity of understanding others has remarkable power for social change as well as necessary for the next big thing for social networking to build our career & relationships. “It could be considered as a greater miracle taking place through each other’s eye for an instant,” said Henry David Thoreau, the 19th-century American Philosopher. It is a most straightforward way to understand & make others understand the valuable meaning expressed by Depeche Mode’s song “Walking in My Shoes.” We can never really understand the other person until we consider things from his perspective. If we try to understand others, it can also benefit us.
Power of Understanding Others
1. Makes us More Empathetic
Everyone has different life experience, which forms their personality, thoughts, & emotions. Without empathy, these main differences between people can lead to misunderstandings, division, & intolerance. Think of empathy as the bridge that closes this gap & connects yourself to other people. Empathy lets you connect with people who think differently from you. Empathy will help you improve your life on many different levels. You will see growth on a personal level with your friends & family, & professionally with your coworkers and customers.
2. Be a Better Leader
People will always choose someone who is understanding as their leader. This quality makes a person approachable. People always want to go to their leaders in case of any error or hardships without facing judgment. True leaders always try to see things from their group-members perspective & show empathy. Leaders can communicate so effectively with their team to ensure the best productivity. The understanding of team members is quite essential for that.
3. Ensures Development of Community
We know that human beings have survived and evolved their social skills in the group. Socialization has often made easy survival through learning and the attainment of skills taught by others. Understanding others has been one of the significant factors in the expansion of these essential skills. This helps us know when communication is necessary & the realization of mechanisms to preserve one’s own life and other people.
4. Better conflict resolution
Suppose you comprehend how someone handles conflict & how your personality handles it. In that case, you can plot a course to handle tricky situations easily. Once you have understood the different perspectives someone may have, you can take a step back & see the conflict from another point of view. Some people prefer a direct, logical approach to solution through tension, while others may prefer to handle disputes gently. Once you understand your personality, you may become more self-aware of how you can handle conflict & where you could improve or show more empathy. Taking into account differences regarding conflict resolution can help you to avoid worsening interpersonal issues & manage demanding situations with care and empathy.
How To Understand Others
Understanding Others is not rocket science; it can be done with minute observation & compassion.
1. Expect it to take time & energy
Do you decide someone lacks the merit of getting to know based on one little thing about them you didn’t like? Or, after only one quick meeting, are you confident another person is ‘too complicated for you? Stop quick judgments & commit to being more open & available to the experience of getting to know someone.
2. Consider Different Points of View
Try to walk a mile in their shoes. We tell people when we want them to see things from another person’s perspective. The only way to truly understand what others are having, or why they think or act a particular way, is to see things the way they view them. Have you ever been upset with other people? Maybe they said something to upset you or acted in a way that made you angry. The simple answer is to get mad at them & stay mad. What if instead of getting mad, you took a moment to put yourself in the other person’s shoes & try to realize what made them act that way?
3. Listen More Attentively
Listening is the most crucial step of effective communication and a top part of understanding other people. Listening is not the same as just hearing. When you genuinely listen to someone talking, you stop what you are doing and direct your total concentration to the speaker. Listening requires effort & focus. It would help if you focused on the speaker to understand what is being said & can respond in a considerate way. Next time someone asks to speak with you, make an effort not just to listen but to listen to comprehend.
4. Assess Feelings
Now that you realize why it is essential to listen genuinely, you can take understanding one step ahead & learn to assess a person’s feelings. Empathy means that we understand not only the words being said but the ideas & the emotions being conveyed. Sometimes feelings are easy to detect. If a person is crying, you can tell they are sad. However, not everyone shows their emotions. It’s up to you to notice what is not being said or shown. This is where that mindreading superpower of Professor X of X-Men would come in handy.
5. Try To Read Nonverbal Cues
Nonverbal cues consist of facial expressions, looks on a person’s face, & body language or movements. Picking up on these nonverbal cues will help you to fully understand what the speaker is trying to communicate. This deeper understanding of others will strengthen your empathy & understanding of people.
6. Practice Self-Awareness
Empathy is built by an understanding of oneself or self-awareness. The more you understand your thoughts & feelings, the more you can understand other people’s. If you don’t recognize the feelings you experience daily, how would you expect to distinguish those feelings in someone else? The more open we are to our emotions, the more capable we become at reading someone else’s feelings.
7. Reach Out to People You Trust
While trying to understand others, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Reach out to someone you trust & ask for their advice & support when you need it. In any relationship, be it professional or personal, understanding each other means being present without judgment. If you think your friend, family member, or colleague is having a hard time, you can take the first step to reach out to them. Your initiative will go a long way in helping them & in return, they will try to be present for you too.
If we can show the power of Understanding Others a bit more, the world will be more beautiful & peaceful. The reason for all conflicts is that we fail to understand others. Instead of considering another point of view, we are just having disputes. There are many ways to understand others; with some logical thoughts & empathy, we can rise as a more considerate race.