Sitting in the airport having a coffee after a smooth trip up from Goa to Mumbai – 3 hours to go before boarding to the UK (failing any hiccups) and I started to think – which, as any of my friends will tell you, can be dangerous where I am concerned.
I am people watching and observing others. I spot lone travellers, couples, families and wonder how well anyone else really knows anyone else – does that make sense??
I mean, as the world turns, and we flow with its tide (and sometimes against it!) how much do people truly reveal of themselves to others?
Personally, I think that the longer you live, the harder it can be to know people that you encounter along the way.
Knowledge and understanding in my book are all tied up together. Where knowledge usually comes from experience though, to understand someone you really need to have knowledge of their experiences as well. The again you would also need to have felt the same things that they did during these experiences.
Now even with the experience and with your reactions to them appearing the same as another’s, this is not really to do more than assume you know the way another person is.
So have I confused you so far? Wait…………………and read on further for more enlightenment or confusion!. 😀
Assumption can kill a relationship with another person whether the be friend, family member, work acquaintance or chance encounter. We tend to judge people by their reaction to others –
For example – I glance across the room and smile at a small child playing around her family. Her mother sees me smiling and smiles back at me. However, a few minutes later she frowns and pulls the child away from a man who is also smiling at her. Why???
How does she know whether I am harmless and possibly he is not – I may be a baby-snatcher and he a doting father of 4 after all!
Is it from previous experience, media-fed fear, real knowledge, motherly instinct, or what? From what angle is she approaching the scenario? If the child was a boy would it be different?
Again, you have to consider the person who is reacting in this way – Is she a traditional or modern woman? What is her nationality, background, upbringing, education, belief etc?……………..and does all this matter really????
However, at the crux of it all – do we really know who this woman is, what she is thinking? ……….No!
Would we know and understand her more if we spoke to her for a while?……….Possibly, but that answer will also all depend on how she wants to be perceived by you perhaps.
When you share a common interest does that make you more likely to understand someone else?………on the surface possibly, but underneath?………… no I don’t think so.
I mean, how many of us are really still trying to find what makes us tick and how or why we feel as we do, etc – never mind trying to work out others.
And then there is trying to explain to someone else how you feel – even when you have shared a similar experience together does not mean you feel the way they do – all again depends on the past experience.
Words are not always a good medium either – they often mislead or are misread or misheard. After all, attentive listening is a practised skill and it IS a skill!
Actions and demonstration of feeling may get us closer to the truth but even then we judge others according to our own perceptions. We still do not necessarily understand them or where they are coming from.
Then of course there is honesty – is the person revealing or hiding parts of themselves in order to suit you or themselves?
I do believe that we will never know how to fully understand another person – but why should anyone expect to ? After all we ARE all individuals and it can only lead to disappointment if you look for reactions that you would have in another person.
Personally this is why I like coaching – it does not judge or even comment on another person . A coach will merely take a statement or issue from their client and get the client to explore it by asking questions. The client then has the time to relax a little and then explore in more depth their reasoning behind feelings, actions, etc.
Coaching, when done properly and with love, allows people to find their own truths It does not criticise or condemn or pre-judge. It just IS and it allows the client to BE.
I think we should all have a little coaching everyday – say 30 minutes minimum – to relax, unwind, and learn more about who we are and how we interact with others. So anyone wanting to be coached and to coach me in return – let me know and we can develop a mutually benefical tree of knowledge perhaps.
Mind you I now feel that I have invested an hour in coaching myself – I mean to day this has passed an hour of my waiting in the airport coffee shop so can’t be bad.
You can make up all sorts of stories and ideas from a single motion, expression or move while watching people. This is how some of the best writers create their books, films, play, etc. And from the same I have written this post – which may or may not make sense to all but I am sure it will to a few. Have I revealed myself would you say?