The relationship we have with others is important for our personal growth and often we’re made to think that we must understand our loved ones on all levels – but this isn’t entirely true.
Have you ever been in a situation where you just don’t understand or comprehend where another person is coming from – someone so close to you that you feel blindsided by their reaction or beliefs?
Perhaps they suffer from depression where their perspective of themselves and the world around them is bleak and you just feel you can’t help or fully understand them. There are often times when you offer up your support and understanding to someone feeling stressed but you’re faced with hostility or even blame.
There are important ideas to consider when it comes to accepting our loved ones whose thoughts, beliefs, and reactions can leave us feeling confused and frustrated. But understanding these concepts show that truly loving someone else is all about acceptance and responding in a non-judgemental way.
The Importance of Empathy
Empathy towards others, or the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, can go a long way in a truly loving another person. When you can’t see eye to eye on certain issues, whether it’s big things like marriage or religion, or small stuff like what to eat for dinner, it’s important to express empathy, as it attempts to bridge the divide between the two of you.
Empathy also forces you to practice compassion and become a more compassionate person overall. Compassion allows you to connect with another person and try to see things from their perspective. It gives an insight into their behaviour of how and why they may react or act in the way that they do.
We often find ourselves in a situation of potential conflict with a loved one but when that happens, stop and ask yourself why they may be acting the way they are.
Controlling Your Reaction Is Key
It’s often said that you can’t control a situation, only the way you react to it, and this is also true for how you approach the people in your life. We are all sensitive, connected beings and how we think and act can have a much bigger influence on others than we might imagine.
Our reactions can trigger thoughts and behaviours in others, both in a negative and a positive way. For example, if your reaction to someone ignoring you is that of anger without understanding why they may have ignored you, that would immediately cause a negative reaction in the other person. In other words, negativity breeds negativity, especially when the reasons of the situations aren’t entirely clear. When coming from a place of calm and giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, you are much more likely to get a calm or positive reaction instead.
Consider Different Mindsets And Perspectives
Humans are naturally quite selfish due to the fact that we often believe how we think, our perspectives, and our opinions are correct, while others are wrong. We rarely consider that each and every person is never having the same experience or thought patterns due to life experiences and limited beliefs. We like to think the people closest to us in life think in a similar way, which may be true, however this is almost never the case, even with couples who have been together for forty or fifty years.
Be mindful of the fact that how you see a problem, situation, or the way someone is reacting to something, isn’t necessarily how the other person is viewing it. By taking another person’s point of view, we broaden our own and this helps us to understand our actions and consequences as well as others’ better, which leads to less assumptions and again, more compassion.
At the end of the day, it’s all about being self-aware and adopting a non-judgemental attitude towards your loved one. We can never be expected to fully understand the minds of even those closest to us but the dynamics in a relationship can be harmonious for all involved when we all learn how to look within ourselves to be less selfish and more understanding.
Embracing these situations and accepting loved ones for who they are and how they think as being different from our own, creates a space of empathy, true love, and genuine respect for each other.
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