2 de fevereiro de 2022 às 10:17 #647071
To know how to understand the other is to know how to respect
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п»ї<title>To know how to understand the other is to know how to respect</title>
Knowing how to understand others is the threshold for empathy to flow. Only when we make the effort to connect with the other to know what is their reality, their needs and their emotions, we facilitate the authentic respect that builds coexistence. Because those who understand and empathize with the person in front of them feel that this person also deserves consideration and appreciation.
Let us think about this for a moment. Let us imagine a world in which human beings interact with each other as in an anthill. Each one fulfills a function, each member of the community carries out his or her work without any other aspiration or motivation. No one cares about the other, there is no understanding and, therefore, there is no empathy and those emotions that facilitate attention, care, friendship, altruism?
Without these processes, humanity as such does not exist. It is true that people are also defined by adverse and somewhat conflicting aspects. However, no mental and emotional process is as decisive for our coexistence as knowing how to understand. Moreover, as striking as it may seem to us, few dimensions are as complex as they are difficult to achieve.
Because those who genuinely understand the other person do so in a very concrete way: free of judgment and full of will. Let us understand a little better what this life skill consists of.
Knowing how to understand others, an unfinished business
There are few things that make us despair as much as not being understood. From childhood onwards, we come into contact with that desolate feeling that our parents, siblings, friends or teachers do not understand what we feel or what is happening to us. When this happens, we are overcome with a mixture of anger and sadness. This does not change even in adulthood.
Feeling misunderstood is one of the deepest and most painful discomforts. Perhaps that is why, knowing what it means, we should make a much greater effort to take care of this competence, to make it easier for others, even though sometimes certain people have failed us in the past. However, it must be done well.
As Goethe pointed out, “people tend to listen only to what we understand”. It is true, we somehow connect only with those who are most understandable to our eyes, with those who harmonize most with our ideas, values and thoughts.
Understanding, on the other hand, always requires more effort. In fact, sometimes it involves something really courageous: discovering, accepting and connecting with those who do not think as I do.
Knowing how to understand is not the same as knowing how to understandTo know how to understand others authentically, it is necessary to clarify one detail. Understanding is not the same as comprehending. In fact, most of the time we are left with the second dimension, that is to say, we only dedicate ourselves to deciphering what other people want to convey to us. We become aware of the message and its meaning, but nothing more.
Understanding, however, implies something deeper. It is not only deciphering what we are told, it is connecting with the particular reality of the person in front of us through empathy. It is going beyond words to intuit needs and feel them. Thus, something we must keep in mind is that the process of understanding is something incredibly active as well as complex.
For this process to be effective we must apply what we know in psychology as theory of mind. This concept is defined as the capacity we have to infer the mental states of others, such as their thoughts, fears, desires, intentions, etc. In this way, we understand why they do certain things and even predict future behavior.
Once we have processed all this information, we interpret it in order to act accordingly. All these mechanisms are integrated into the mental act of knowing how to understand. However, we cannot leave aside the emotional aspect either.
Understanding without prejudging, connecting through empathyDaniel Goleman also often talks in his books about the need to know how to understand others. However, he points out one detail: it is not just a matter of inferring what the person in front of me may be thinking or feeling. It is not enough just to be aware of what he or she may be thinking or whether what he or she is experiencing is fear or sadness.
Authentic understanding will never be possible without willingness and interest. So the theory of mind and emotional intelligence is useless if my mind is elsewhere while I am talking to my partner. In addition to this willingness, this active feeling to open myself to the other person and understand what he/she is telling me and what is happening to him/her, other dimensions are also needed:
Active listening. It is necessary to be receptive to others with no other intention or purpose than that. It is not enough to listen while we think about what we are going to answer.
Another basic factor is to listen without prejudging. To know how to understand is to connect with the reality of the other free of previous thoughts, judgments, prejudices, previous labels.
To conclude, as we can see, the process that articulates the concept of understanding is more complex than we might think. In spite of this, we are all capable of putting it into practice; will, in most cases, is everything.
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