On a wonderful Friday morning, I was sitting on my bed working on my laptop with a cup of green tea at the side table. You know how we all have that favorite mug we always want to use whenever we are taking tea, well if you don’t, I do and I love my tea mug. So when I was done with my tea, I took my favorite mug back to the kitchen to wash it off and store safely till we meet again, My young sister who was home for the weekend was in the kitchen at the time with her earpiece lodged in and dancing to whatever song she was listening to, when she offered to wash it for me and since she was already there, I felt; oh well, no harm in that. I stood there a bit longer curiously watching her dancing and washing but just as she was rinsing off the soap from it, the mug slipped from her hands, fell on the tiled floor and broke into pieces. I was distraught. I looked at my sister with all the rage I could muster and berated her for her carelessness and why she had to show it with my mug of all things. In spite of my anger, I could see that she was truly sorry, but I didn’t care I just thought she was so careless and if she was more careful perhaps, my favorite cup wouldn’t be rubble. The next day, I went out to look for another kind of my favorite mug which lucky for me was the last one on the shelf at the store. Elated, I got back home made myself a victory cup of coffee and was going to my bed to continue work on my laptop when suddenly I dropped the mug at the point where I anticipated the bedside stool to be only to be greeted by a shattering sound.
The exact same thing I was furious about barely a day before had just happened to me. It then occurred to me that most of the time we get angry over some things and we feel we could have done a better job in a similar situation without paying any attention to the fact that we could also be in that situation at any given time and wouldn’t want to be yelled at. Soberly, I accepted a life lesson there; Understanding at times is more important than love, especially when it comes to family and intimate relationships. Here are some tips on being more understanding in our lives, especially when dealing with those who we care about:
- Learn the skill of putting yourself in someone’s shoes:
For me, this is one of the most important skills you could possess when trying to understand others. This is a skill you have to learn and practice, to improve your inter-personal relationships. It is not a talent. Before you disagree with someone, try to put yourself in their shoes; try to understand their motivations and what made them arrive at the conclusion they did, you begin to appreciate why they arrived at such conclusion and then realize why you may never have thought of it that way.
- Learn to listen attentively:when you listen and give someone your whole attention, you definitely get to understand them better, but to truly be understanding you need to be an active listener and participate in the conservation. Don’t just nod at what they say, encourage the other person to keep opening up and letting you into their lives by asking questions and sharing related experiences.
- Recognize that people; in general, do what is best for them. They are self-centered not necessarily cruel or mean:
Some people perform unselfish or sacrificial acts of kindness every day; however, a majority does things because it directly benefits them. Knowing this can help in better understanding people and their actions. This insight helped me appreciate and accept the flaws in people and also understand them more and I believe you should to.