I once read somewhere that “If we jumped into opportunities as quickly as we jump into conclusions, the world would be greater”.
Lately, I’ve been bothered by certain things in our relationships with people around; could be friends, neighbors, partners, and colleagues. Not exactly a viral topic but quite vital. Some include:
- Assuming things too quickly
- Failure to look at things from the other person’s perspective
- Always thinking we are right /not wanting to buy the idea of the other
- Paying attention to minute things/failure to overlook certain things
- Failure to explain things with politeness.
- Running into conclusions
- In paying attention to what a person wants / Not handling everyone in the same way
My roommate and I once went through days without speaking to each other with rapport (which never happens). Our communication was limited to “Good morning” (afternoon or evening), “Welcome” “Thanks” and other formal stuff formal people do. And was birthed from failure to ask questions, failure to speak out, failure to overlook, and assumptions.
It took the intervention of a mutual friend before I was able to observe that, ordinarily, there wasn’t supposed to be an issue. This was it.
I had a challenge while I was out during the day, returned home without first dropping my attitude from having a bad day. I returned home, greeted her with coldness and then went ahead with activities around the house, totally ignoring her presence. I guess the house became toxic after a while. I allowed my having a bad day rob on her and what’s worse was that I allowed it linger longer than necessary. She on the other hand, never asked to know what my problem was. Rather, she assumed and gave me space. It was after she seemed far that I got pissed and thought she was acting up. I asked but she never gave a concrete answer, probably because I started it.
That ugly scenario could have been avoided if:
- On my way back home, I dropped the effect of having a bad day at the door. Or never allow it linger even if I brought it home.
She had made genuine moves to know what my problem was, rather she assumed I wanted space and she gave it in so much quantity.
A friend who ordinarily could call almost daily to check in could stop doing so all of a sudden, because you do not see it a huge deal to check on people. They may possibly take that care and attention to where they feel it is needed.
A person whose chats could be so lively and exciting with emoji accompanying each line suddenly reply your messages with clear-cut “Okay” “Noted” “Yes” “No” and the likes. Not because they really wanted to stop those exciting conversations but because you made them stop. You made them feel that it’s a one-sided cheerfulness.
A once close friend might decide to give you some space not because they have issues with you, but because you sent a wrong message.
Humans respond to how they are treated, it is kind of directly proportional.
On Paying Attention To What They Want
No one wants to be left with the feeling of being the only one who checks on you, while you don’t. We were wired with a difference and as such respond differently to situations.
An attitude that came naturally to one might leave another struggling with it.
While one would not mind certain things and may as well let them slide, it might mean a whole lot to another.
During challenging periods, some group of persons would want to be left alone and given space, while another group would very much want to be checked on, asked questions and kept company with.
It’s temperamental, hence it’s essential we give people what they want and not what we want. It would be unfair to say to a friend who’s going through a difficult time “go, look for a quiet space and spend some time alone. It’ll help. It helps me”. Rather, study them. Pay keen attention to how this person would want to be treated (whether to be left alone or kept company with) and handle them exactly how they wish to be handled. It’s about them, not you.
How To Know What They Want
This is the social, non-verbal behaviors (such as body languages and facial expressions) that are characteristic of a person. A person does not necessarily need to speak before one can deduce what this person wants. Pay attention to what excites them. Listen to what they exclaim “wow” to. Pay attention to what irritates them. Do they sometimes suddenly stop conversations and withdraw? Are they very comfortable keeping to themselves? Do they open up easily? Do they act like they are being bugged even unknown to them when you probe too much? Listen to what they don’t say, it’s within those silent words.
- On Explanation With Politeness
Sometimes, when trying to fix something, study, write or engage in some serious activity, we wear this very serious look unknown to us (like reflexive). This sometimes sends a signal to those around us in a not so cool way “Don’t disturb, I’m trying to get serious here”.
One may ask, “But he/she can actually see that I’m trying to get busy here”. Yes, they can see but still, you should tell them in a polite way if they failed to observe. Telling them would save you the trouble of being seen as a snob and will also save them the trouble of being shot out.
Be conscious about relationships from today. Relationships are very important and you can always do better.
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