When we are certain we are right we can be very deliberate about not wanting to hear the other side of the story. We might say ‘It doesn’t matter’ or ‘It’s not relevant’. We stop listening; shut people down; divert conversation; withdraw. And that means we stop connecting.
It’s easier to see this in other people who we disagree with on something. It’s wise to see it in ourselves when we are the ones not listening to the other side of the story.
Just because someone else has a different perspective doesn’t mean our side of the story is wrong. It means that they have a different perspective. They bring to table the same things that we do: Our history; our experience; our defaults and biases; our training; our passions; our fears; our willingness or not to accept others as they are.
Leave a little room in your life for both sides of the story. It will bring you closer to others who have just as much need to connect as you do.
Why Being Nice Matters That's the name I'm giving this video. I love it because it aligns so well with the TED* work that I teach. Very helpful both personally and professionally.
If you haven't already discovered James Clear and his book Atomic Habits you might find his weekly 3-2-1 Thursday interesting. I am always surprised by how relevant his 3 Ideas, 2 Quotes and 1 Question usually are. Here's the October 10th 3-2-1 Thursday newsletter. Made me sit up straight ... again!
Maybe some of the people around you are skeptical or resistant to change. Maybe they have heard the spiel before and don’t want to waste time and energy jumping on board with a new idea. Maybe they just aren’t ready. Maybe you just aren't ready.
And a rising tide lifts all boats. We are all better off for improvements to connection and communication. Whether we wholeheartedly embrace the opportunity to live more intentionally or dig in our heels at every turn, we still benefit from the rising tide of awareness around us.
In my opinion, it’s not okay to do nothing when doing something would bring us closer, create safety, be inclusive and sprinkle kindness on us all.