How To Deepen Your Understanding Of People

In this post we'll explore the consequences of having and not having understanding for people. You will also be introduced to a handful of pointers that can help you deepen your own understanding.

Most of us have experienced indifferent customer service. You inform them that the items you ordered were defect; but instead of having understanding for your situation or to take responsibility for what has happened, the jaded representative blames it on the postal service. How does that make you feel?

What about the opposite, have you ever been met with so much warmth and understanding that all your frustration completely dissolved? How did that feel? I would categorize it as magic in unexpected places.

Recognize the innate power of soothing understanding.

Having Understanding

To have understanding for someone is the ability to relate to the person and her situation. What is more, sympathy and empathy are forms of understanding. Consider the following scenarios:

You are a nurse in an emergency room. A high school student has been knocked off her bicycle by a car, which has resulted in multiple fractures in her arms and legs. When you talk to the distressed girl and her mother, you are naturally gentle and empathetic.

Your friend has just found out that he failed a major exam. He is upset and overtaken by disappointment. You sympathize with him and offer your support. What does it feel like to be showered with caring attention? Take a minute to think about it.

Sympathy and empathy have heart-warming qualities that soothe the pain. Moreover, understanding unite people and makes for comfort and ease.

Not Having Understanding

Not having sympathy for someone who is struggling is the same as not caring for the person's wellbeing. Many a time we are simply unwilling to make the extra effort, it's also possible that you are self-centered or unable to relate to someone else's situation. Here is a typical scenario:

One morning when having a sandwich for breakfast, you find yourself chewing on a bitter cigarette filter. Next time you call at the local bakery, you mention about the finding. The response you get is, "We're only human." The cashier didn't apologize or make any effort to relate to your unpleasant experience. What does it feel like when someone doesn't sympathize with you? Give it some thought.

Not expressing sympathy, especially when a mistake has been made, leads to irritation and anger. In addition, a lack of understanding divide people and creates tension.

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How To Deepen Your Understanding

Knowing yourself in the deepest sense of the word, naturally makes it easier to have understanding for others. Here, awareness plays an important role. Explore your mind by taking an interest in its mental and emotional reactions to various situations, sense impressions, feelings and thoughts.

Life experience is critical when it comes to deepening your understanding. That includes experience of friendships, relationships, parenthood, going through difficulties, work experience and living in foreign countries etc.

It's quite straightforward to relate to individuals that share your background and interests. For example, if you are vegan and health conscientious, it's easier to connect with a raw foodist than a heavy smoker. Likewise, it's more natural for a globetrotter to relate to foreigners, than for someone who hasn't been abroad. The point is that you usually have to make more effort to have understanding for people that are not like you. Be willing to make that effort.

To be open-minded and curious about life are vital qualities that accelerate the deepening of understanding for others. Further, a gentle and welcoming person is able to make almost anyone feel at ease. Warmth and patience are also supportive characteristics.

In conclusion, to truly have understanding of another human being; know yourself, be yourself, listen attentively and ask if there is anything you can do to help.

A caring mindset alone, will take you a long way...

Best of luck!

Related:   Political Correctness   Accepting People   Open-Mindedness

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