We as humans always believe that we are logical in every way and that every step we take is to be understood. But seeing it from a much broader perspective, we normally never can say what is happening in somebody´s head.
Imagine the following situation:
In your country the customs suggest that the woman should always enter the room first and a man should always clear a way to support this idea. I mean who doesn´t know the saying “Ladies First”, right? However, this also means that if you would encounter a man entering the room first, you would count his behaviour as impolite and rude.
Thus you may not be able to see that this may be a sign of politeness in his country as if in order to check that the room withholds no danger so the woman can enter without any problems and thus ensuring that it is a safe environment for her to be in.
You might guess where I am going here. Me, like so many others, would have mistaken the man´s intention. And this might not only differ from culture to culture but also be different from one to another. Although the saying in Germany “Ladies First” is very common and seen naturally, I believe that a man entering the room first gives me a form of respect and henceforth shows me that we are equal and on the same page.
The said above is only one of many examples here which repeats itself in every situation of our lives whether at work, school, university, with family or with friends: we need to express our feelings for others to understand.
I, having been on the On-Arrival-Training last week, had also to encounter my own humanity which I cannot flee. Although I try so hard to shut my emotions down at the end, they always surface again.
We expect, we analyse and we interpret. So how are we ever able to know the true story? The facts?
Let´s take this story as an example:
Fred is lying on the sofa sleeping. And Wilma is lying on the floor dead.
What has happened?
If you are like me, your first impulse would be to imagine a murder, and accident, an overdose of drugs. You would expect this to be the story. Due to what though? Because of experience, news, the media, books, movies or maybe just anthropology?
Whatever the reason was: that made it for you impossible to see the whole picture. You saw only a small bit.
Who would have guessed that Fred is a cat and Wilma a goldfish who jumped out of her glass because she was playing with her new toy?
What I am trying to say is that we should always question our surroundings and the information we receive. Otherwise we will lose our possibility to develop and to understand other human beings.
So, when you are again at a point where you feel offended by another person´s behaviour. Take a rest and try to empathise. Try to understand and try to talk.
To put it in a nutshell: communication is the key.