It’s an Estimable Act to See Yourself Clearly.
The other day my friend call me upset because her brother called her controlling. “Who does he think he is?” she said. “He has no right to say that about me.”
“Is it true? Any you controlling?” I asked.
“I don’t think I am,” she said. “I’m just passionate about things.”
“Why did he call you controlling? What did he say you did?”
“I told him I didn’t like how he is raising his daughter.”
“Is it possible he could have perceived your words as controlling?” I asked.
“I doubt it, but if he did, it was his fault for interpreting my words that way,” she said.
This could have been a scenario with you and a friend, you and a family member, or you and a co-worker. It’s any scenario where you are seen one way but you perceive yourself differently. Do you know who you are? Do you know how your behavior affects others? We go through life seeing ourselves as we want to be seen not always as we are.
Frequently that means seeing ourselves as the good guy, the wronged, the one taking the high road, the person who is misunderstood. Yet there are times when our attitude, our tone of voice, our body language, and the words we use turn us into the wrongdoer.
Examine Your Behavior.
Having the courage to continuously examine our behavior, our motives, and even our thoughts is an Esteemable Act. And it’s difficult because were asked to see past our filters and defenses to the truth of who we are in the moment. Our filters protect us. By their very nature, they distort our vision. We tend to see only the good. Its important to acknowledge our assets, but unless we can balance our perception, we aren’t able to see our part in problems that occur.
We then become challenged to understand why people respond to us the way they do. For example, I had a bad habit of interrupting people when they were talking, I’d walk up and jump into an existing conversation without concern for people’s feelings. To me, that wasn’t rude or inconsiderate. It was just the way I was, and most of the time, I had no idea I was doing on. I was oblivious to my behavior and its impact on others until one day someone actually called my attention to what I did. It was a painful realization and one that made me more aware of my behavior.
Self-examination is life transforming, so why don’t more of us do it? We mistakenly believe that if there is need for improvement, we’re defective. So, we walk around thinking we’re prefect while acting imperfect and inflicting casualties along the way.
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groups, Google+ Circles. Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.