It is interesting to see how some people interpret certain phrases or circumstances.
For instance, the phrase, “you look tired.”
Some take this as an insult. Others take it as a caring comment where the other person is concerned that you are overworking yourself and not getting enough rest.
Either of these realities could be true, however, it is more likely the person saying you look tired is sharing a concern rather than an insult.
The other day I was talking to someone who was stressed out about an event they were getting ready for. They were all worked up over the things they had to do to prepare for this event.
I looked at them and said, “you don’t have to go to this event.”
They became frustrated with me and said, “you don’t want me to go!”
I responded with, “I didn’t mean that at all. I meant, if it’s too stressful for you, it’s okay if you don’t go. I don’t want you to feel like you are obligated to be at the event if you’d rather not be there.”
Thankfully we were able to bring clarity to the conversation so that we understood each other properly.
But for a moment the other person was hurt. If clarification hasn’t been made that person may have stayed hurt for a longer period of time.
Perception is the key to our reality.
When I’m not sure how to take a comment I try to ask questions to understand the other person. If I’m not able to ask questions I try to take the comment in the most positive way I can.
The reason I take it positively is so I don’t get caught up in a dramatic story in my own mind.
So many of us have created a story out of a simple phrase and end up getting hurt over something that probably wasn’t even true.
When we can pause and look at the situation form a different angel, we are practicing the art of perception.