You can’t be Seen until you learn to See29th February 2020
Last week, I saw a dog guardian with a 5 month old pup. She was saying that the puppy has developed a bad habit of biting everything from objects to people’s hands (for hands, more mouthing than biting). She is at her wits end as he has chewed her card wallet with all her bank cards in it and also her favourite dressing gown!
A puppy chewing things is about the most natural act to do when they are teething. Their new teeth are growing and they will feel the urge to chew. It is interesting how that act should be perceived as good or bad. There is no good or bad to it, just what it is. Sometimes, we judge or evaluate an action more than we try to understand why it was done. When we actually understand why the puppy is chewing, we can then empathise and realise that he is trying to tell us something, “I need to chew! I can’t help it! If you don’t want me to chew things I should not chew, then show me and teach me what I can chew!”
In our daily interactions with others in life, it is not dissimilar. Our first reaction to most of the statements (which we hear from other people) is an evaluation or judgement, rather than an understanding of it. Very rarely do we permit ourselves to understand precisely what the meaning of the statement is to the other person. We tend to react (putting our emotions into the response) and not really seek to understand. When someone says, “I think you are being unfair”, our reaction would be justify why he is wrong (if we are actually fair) or why that person is right (if we have been unfair). Very rarely do we seek to understand or ask the question, “Why did he just say that? What triggered him to have such emotions that resulted in that question being asked?” When we ask ourselves that question and seek to understand, we are truly attempting to understand the other. Our response may be vastly different.
Children often make great comments, having much less filters than adults. I know my son, half an hour after a full lunch, would say, “I am hungry”. My first reaction (like most parents, I have been told) would be of incredibility and say something along the lines of “you should be full after lunch”, “wait till dinner time” or “you need to slow down and let your food digest”. Putting the above concept of true understanding in play, I asked, “Interesting… why did you say that?” Of which, he promptly replied, “I saw that boy having an ice cream and suddenly remembered about our trip to the beach and buying the ice cream then. It was a great day!” We then continued to have one of the most enjoyable conversation which I know would not have happened if I had responded with my first reaction. He was not wanting more food. He was merely recalling a memory that meant a lot to him.
So, next time when your dog does something you did not expect or undesirable, hold your actions, check your thoughts and seek first to understand. It may change your response and emotions to a more favourable one. Likewise in your daily interactions, the next statement that is directed at you or said to you (that requires thought and a response), ask yourself, “Why did he (or she) just say that? What made he (or she) say that?” Seek first to understand, the results may astound you.
You can’t be seen until you learn to see. – Seth GodinBack to Blog