If I had to think of one thing that’s helped me become a much calmer person and enjoy life a lot more, it would be ‘shoes’… that of the other man.
“Yeah it annoys me when they say that, but… what would I say if I was in their shoes?”
“No I don’t like it when they make that assumption, but… what would I assume if I was in their shoes and had access to limited amount of information?”
Some or most of you probably don’t know this, but I used to be a programmer/analyst that worked for the government, banks and other high profile companies making $120 an hour. The reason I mention this is because at some stage in my life I literally started to use those highly paid analytical skills for something more useful, that is to understand myself and other people better. One of the most eye opening things I learned was to put myself in someone else’s shoes before getting irritated or annoyed.
How does this hocus pocus work?
Let’s say that Joe says something to you that you know is not true, it’s not nice to hear what he said, you can immediately become defensive and annoyed, start retaliating by finding things that Joe has done wrong or you can take a few seconds, put yourself in Joe’s shoes and start thinking “why would Joe say that? What information is he missing to come to this absurd conclusion?”. If you find the answer, then ask yourself, how would I react with the same information and being in his shoes right now? You’d probably react or say the same thing, this will remove the need to retaliate and allows you to provide the missing information to Joe.
Once you provide the missing information to Joe and he’s still an asshole about it, you slap the shit out of him! Just kidding…
This is just an example, the concept is that you take a step back when something can potentially annoy or aggravate you, you analyse the situation, ask yourself if vital information could be missing, could the person have had a bad nights sleep, is the person not feeling well, is something else going on in the persons’ life that could affect his/her mood etc. Put yourself in their shoes and replay the situation, analyse your response, provide the response you’d want to hear if you were them.
If you don’t take this time to analyse situations you will soon find yourself alienated and wondering what the hell is wrong with people, while the problem could be with you, even though you know THEY ARE WRONG!
Don’t jump to quick to conclusions either, give people the benefit of the doubt, no matter how many times you’ve been burned, don’t use that as an excuse to become bitter and destroy your own happiness. Sometimes you need to give it time to double prove what you think they meant, I personally have found that I saved a lot of relationships this way, initially I could be like “who in the hell do they think they are to say something like that?!”, then I gave it time, I gave it the benefit of the doubt and it turned out I was wrong, had I responded with my initial feeling I would have destroyed the relationship.
Don’t assign too much weight to third party gossip either, because whatever so and so said is now passed through a third party, that third party is not passing on all the fine little details that are important to make sound judgment on something, mood, environment, context etc. Plus that third party might have their own agenda.
Relax, chill, take a step back, analyse and put yourself in their shoes!
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What are some of the strategies you employ to not flip out? Post them below or on this Facebook post.