Relationships are already complex as a matter of being. When we start to mix in the differences in how people thing, see, and appreciate the word, things get complicated fast.
Most people are able to navigate the maze of human connections well. That’s the beauty of being a social being. But, there are those who prefer to limit their abilities to connect and this causes friction.
We’re talking today about the levels of awareness a person has both within themselves and of the world around them.
Levels of Awareness
The closed minded person swears they’re not closed. Especially in the arena of judging others. The open minded person is more interested in knowing the nuances of information about them.
There is no harm in being one or the other if we lived for ourselves by ourselves and unto ourselves. But, alas, we have to relate to people.
When most groups share the same set of values, rules, habits, preferences, and the like, it is not much of a factor if one person is open minded or closed minded. The rules of engagements are set and nearly everyone plays by them just fine.
Friction comes when people of different levels of awareness start to mingle and have to learn to live with each other. Take the example of modern developed society. We have people from all walks of life living in ever more cramped spaces. There are no clear assumptions that govern all interactions.
Now, take this and bring it home to more personal interactions. Without a degree of awareness of the differences between people’s world views, many accidental harms happen.
Two quick examples of this:
Many men these days have no reason to believe that they must adjust how they walk to accommodate others if that is not taught to them. This is never more clear in a conservative work environment where women wear heels. It is not uncommon to see a tall man walking briskly about unaware that his colleague is on the verge of jogging to keep up.
To the man, he’s just walking about. To the woman, he’s being a typical insensitive male. (broad stroke assumption for literary ease).
A man who is aware of the differences in how various heights affect the pace of walking, will slow his pace down to match that of the lady. The example could have been about two men, one tall and one short… the principle is the same.
Another example. A husband feels he is responsible for all the tech things of the house. He installs a new thermometer that can be programmed. If he’s unaware of how his wife prefers a warmer house than he does, he could easily program the system to what he thinks is ideal.
The resulting conflicts and potentially costly consequences could be avoided if both parties understood the degrees of awareness the other has and communicate clearly their needs about the temperature of the room. Had the man been more aware and willing to act sensibly about his awareness, the new thermostat would have been a welcomed change instead of a contentious one.
From superficial to deep
These two examples are things that can be easily resolved, learned, negotiated. Provided both parties are open and aware of the need to be open. Problems exist when one person is not aware of the other’s inability or lack of desire to be open and aware… to work with the other.
Meaning. If one person is not aware that the other is closed off to being aware… bumping of heads and friction can quickly escalate and erode a relationship.
We can only work with our partners, friends, others, to the level that they can work with us. This means we have to know ourselves well and then be able to accept that others do not always want to know themselves that deeply. (or more deeply)
This has never been more true than in situations in which self-love is in the balance. Some people, thanks to life, prefer not to work on loving themselves fully. It can be very painful to look deep inside. There are things we may want to avoid.
You can not love someone more than they love themselves. Just can’t. Sure, you may harbor deeper feelings of love for them than they have for themselves… you can’t do that extra loving for them. You’ve got to accept and respect the level at which they play.
That may often times mean keeping a certain degree of closeness (or lack thereof) so that the relationship functions just fine. There are people who we can trust to stab us in the back, just because of the hurt they carry inside, so we keep a certain distance so no one gets hurt. Others are further along their journey and we can’t keep up, so we don’t… so no one gets hurt.
What one must not do is prevent others or ourselves from following our paths. Each of us have a life to live. We can’t prevent others from doing what they must do. Nor allow others from preventing us from doing what we must.
Thankfully, with deep awareness comes the ability to work with others harmoniously.
As we nurture our respective loves and relationships, let’s give ourselves the gift of acceptance. Accept people for who they are. Even while encouraging them to consider better. Let’s not push and force anyone where they’re not comfortable.
Growth is a process. They may not be ready today. You may not be ready today. But that has nothing to do with tomorrow. Do not extinguish the flames of love just because they see the world differently than you do.
Unlike objects that can’t self change, humans can grow and adapt if they want to. Allow others to decide for themselves. Work on the only person you can actually convince to change, you!
We can modify ourselves. We can grow. We can learn. We can increase our awareness. We can improve our sensitivities. We can be more sociable and accepting.
The way to success is to learn and grow with each encounter we have. We can improve our open-mindedness. We can expand our views.
This week, as we hurdle the highway of life in a new month, let us work to improve ourselves as we also accept others for who they are and treat them with respect for being who they are.
Trust that others will reveal their nature through their actions. Listen. Then, decide accordingly. To do differently is to setup for a hurtful situation.
Until next time, level up your awareness skills… and spot the differences in how others want/need to be accepted. The only person you really can influence is yourself. The beauty of this little truth is that by growing ourselves, we best increase the opportunity for others to desire to change themselves on their terms.
Have a great and awesome week!
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This is beautiful….and I've been thinking about this quote for a long time. Despite how peaceful, open and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you as deeply as they meet themselves. It's nothing personal towards you. Everyone has a process. You just have to accept theirs and embrace yours. ❤ Have a beautiful Saturday! #JustFeelingGrateful @latipoetry
These musings inspired by…
OfficialKTR of Instagram who’s website is http://www.ktrcollection.com
there was no prior agreement to do this post. No sponsorship. Not gifts. Just musings from seeing this post
KTR credits Latipoetry of IG in her post… so… out of respect, doing the same here