Noun – a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view.
This word, ‘perspective’ has be rattling around my brain for weeks; possibly months. Every situation that I have found myself in that has been ‘difficult’ has been interrupted by the thought of this word, ‘perspective’. I don’t know why – but it’s been a constant so I decided to explore its connotations and understand why every time I close my eyes I just see these letters, ‘P.E.R.S.P.E.C.T.I.V.E’.
I’m a sensitive soul, many people don’t know that, or indeed believe that; but I am. Words hurt me, people disrespecting me hurts. Listening to the news, that upsets me (so I don’t); thinking that I’ve done something that somebody didn’t like or enjoy really hurts! Mostly, because I love my job, I love people and I’m a good person. People have said wicked things about me that I haven’t been able to defend it because I’ve been so upset, and then people have hurt me through indifference and condescension.
Recently though, I have felt a bit different. There was a trigger, someone I used to love very much disrespected me beyond belief and for the first time in my life, I stood up for myself. Very empowering; but, it made me look again at how I have allowed people to treat me, purely because I do not like confrontation.
My ‘perspective’ was always that I if was nice to people that they would like me back. Sometimes, people are viewing me (and you) through a different pane of glass. Perspective to me; is like looking at the world and people from one side of a window. What you say and how you feel, is probably the same as the other people on that side of the window. However, there are people on the other side, and they view the world very differently.
It’s like looking out of your sitting room at a person across the street who is looking right back at you. That person sees you (maybe) looking lonely, or nosey, or irritated, or waiting for someone….you don’t know how they are interpreting the view. You see that person staring at you, are you afraid? Are they admiring your home or are they envious of your home and feeling the need to take it away from you? You don’t know. We don’t know how anyone views a particular situation until we are faced with it.
I’ve been hurt in life because people have not seen the world from my side of the glass. But there are people who sit on your side of the glass. Remembering that each individual’s perspective is built up over years of experiences, their childhood, and their relationships with both friends and lovers is important when trying to move forwards in life with other humans. Their journey is not yours and yours, is not theirs.
If you work closely with people or alongside them, and you find that you do not understand that person’s perspective, I recommend talking to them. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Try and see what it looks like on their side of the glass and allow them to get to know you a little? It doesn’t always work though. I have found that I have been unable to shatter the glass between myself and others in the past, so understanding another individual’s perspective may mean that you walk away from them. That’s OK though, because you’ll feel much calmer for knowing how their particular flavour of human-being evolved and maybe appreciating that there are more factors involved in their attitude than just YOU.
These days, when I am faced with an uncomfortable situation e.g.
a) I’m being told that something I did was not enjoyed by one person or,
b) someone doesn’t like my attitude for some reason or,
c) I feel disrespected by another human,
I see the word ‘PERSPECTIVE’ and try to apply some principles.
a) It was only 1 person! Did everyone else enjoy the session? Yes. Ok, then maybe that person’s perspective was being influenced by expectation and previous experiences or they were simply having a bad day. My perspective on my side of the glass, is that I have thought about my work and decided it was either, absolutely fine or I could have improved in a particular area. But I’m safe to consider this on my side of the glass, looking out at the world from my side of the window, with others like me.
b) If someone doesn’t like me, maybe I remind them of someone nasty. Maybe I’m too loud and they are a quiet person and they felt annoyed by my enthusiasm. That’s OK, introverts have huge power and are the ‘great thinkers’ of the world. I could learn from that feedback or just enjoy being me with those who love me.
c) Did I let this person disrespect me? How and why? If so, then I need to re-think my strategy for taking care of my well-being around that individual OR, have I overreacted?
The glass (perspective) will protect you and provide strength when faced with humans who have a different point of view. Visualise it and use it to keep you safe as you try to connect with those from a different journey. Shatter it if you want to and if you can but if you like a quiet life, stay on the side you understand.
Much love to everyone and remember that maybe ‘it all comes down to ‘PERSPECTIVE’.