Seek to understand.
Updated: Sep 12, 2020
Alright, I'm going to sprinkle some wisdom onto you that I picked up during my time as a gopher. I took a leadership class and as nerdy as it sounds, I ended up really looking forward to it. It was even an early one where if it would have been any of my other classes, I probably would have just slept through it half the time. When I go back, I'm actually considering a minor in leadership and not because I think 'oh I took a class, hand over an army,' I just found myself being so far out of my comfort zone a hundred percent of the time. Allowing for this very shy girl to grow out of her shell a little bit by feeling overwhelmingly vulnerable. Anywho, one main concept in this class was about asking questions and making an effort to understand the people around you. I hate to say it but, I'm so guilty of seeing someone that might be a little odd and immediately making all these judgments about them. Like I took the time to make fun of them for something that's not normal but I couldn't have stepped back and thought there was a deeper explanation for it? You could look around and see this every day but I'll give you an example. You work with this girl named Tina, right? Well, the only thing you know about Tina is that she's always showing up to work late, hair looking more like a rats nest and less like a L'Oreal model, she's got bags under her eyes that are so dark the bottom of the ocean is jealous. All very superficial things but you and your pal Janna are always talking about Tina behind her back, belittling her because what else do you do? You're only human. One day, Tina shows up to work early for a meeting with your boss and, again the human in you, curiosity strikes so you maybe eavesdrop a little bit. You come to find out Tina is asking for a raise because she and her five kids recently lost their house due to the fact that her husband had to get admitted into a hospital. Whenever Tina isn't at work, she's visiting her husband, juggling kids, hospital bills, bouncing around her friends' basements lucky if she gets to sneak in a quick shower each day. You walk away feeling a little disgusted with yourself right? It's not completely your fault, you didn't know!! But you also didn't ask either. Seek to understand why Tina always looks so busted. Seek to understand those around you and allow yourself to offer some empathy. I promise you'll be left speechless by your strong relationships with these people. You know why you're having a bad day and probably don't want people you see that day thinking you're an angry person- they don't even know you!! Try to keep in mind that appearances mean so much less than what's truly going on.