Everyone sees the world through their own lens. Many of us see people around us and have a thin line between people we like and people we don’t like. You have a poor first impression of someone and suddenly they are someone you dislike, for no reason, other than just an encounter that lasted 10 minutes. Other people may have friendships that have lasted for years that are suddenly broken due to a couple of mistakes someone made. Afterward, we only see the negative in this person and not the good.
To find happiness we must see the beauty in others. Everyone has beauty and good within themselves. Everyone does. Many of us have been through a circumstance where all we can seem to focus on is all the negatives about that person.
I remember a few years back, I consistently had negative thoughts about one of my employers at the time. She was consistently very strict with me to the point where I felt overwhelmed and very stressed out. At one point, she even said something negative about my personality. She was very difficult to get along with and other employees felt the same. The first few months working with her was a challenge but over time it just became overwhelming and I really viewed her with distaste. I will admit there were times that she was very kind and really meant well. It was always difficult for me to see her in these moments because those qualities were not consistent with the mean, horrible boss image I had given her.
After working with her, I have been able to adjust my lens and see her as a different. I can see that she was someone who had a good heart. I can now see that she meant well with her criticisms. Her criticisms were harsh and at some points, inappropriate but I realize she was doing the best she can to prepare me for success. I realize that yes she was strict, but she wanted the best out her workers and she hired me, knowing that I could meet her challenge. I had a ton of wonderful opportunities from her encounter and I know now how to communicate better with someone like that. She did find out how dissatisfied I was with her, and surprisingly was kind about the experience. She understood that sometimes employers and employees aren’t the most compatible and still supported me after knowing my real feelings on the matter.
Ever since I’ve learned to try and see outside of just my lens. Doing that, I’ve been able to not regret working with that previous employer. If someone ever asks me about her as an employer, I will tell them she’s challenging, strict and honest but is concerned about your wellness and wants you to succeed. All you have to do is give her the benefit of the doubt and be honest with her about it.
Being able to find the beauty in people is really critical for being happy. It’s easy for us to pinpoint negatives or discuss how much worse your life is now that that person is in it. It’s too easy to feel angry with people and to show dislike.
It’s much more fulfilling to see the beauty in someone.
But how do you do this some may wonder?
Well here are some steps you can take to really find and appreciate the beauty in someone else.
- Listen to what that person has to say and try to see things from their perspective. Feel free to ask questions to get better clarity on how a person feels.
- Try and think about the positives that person has. Are they funny, honest, really kind, etc? What exactly do they bring to the table. Try to be aware of the positive qualities someone has, and if it’s not as apparent then look for it.
- Ask questions and learn about that person. It’s easy to miss beauty in a person when we allow ourselves to only see a small window of that person’s life. Ask questions and learn about that person’s life.
- Open yourself to the person. Sometimes we don’t realize that we are blinding ourselves to seeing someone because we aren’t open ourselves. When you allow yourself to be open, you give the person more opportunities to positively respond to you and allow for possible shared interests.
- Be kind to the person. Showing kindness may place you in more of a positive perspective. That person, may in turn, also show kindness in their own unique way.
- Find a way to compliment the person. Make it a goal to tell the person a compliment over the next week. This will automatically get you thinking about positive qualities about that person.
- Try to place yourself in their shoes. It’s easy to make interpretations about someone. What’s not so easy is trying to understand a situation from their perspectives. Allowing yourself to understand why someone is acting a certain way or making decisions may broaden your perspective about that person.