Personal Development: Be accepting of other people’s reality
Most of the time personal awareness – and consequently personal development – helps manage and resolve conflicts. Accepting other people’s reality is something that can not only transcend conflict but also lead to a more harmonious life.
Conflict management through acceptance
A recurring theme when people disagree is that one person does not accept another person’s version of events. They reach a stalemate when the conclusion is ‘you are lying’. In reality there often is no single truth, just different people’s experiences. We can live through exactly the same event and have a different experience of it but it seems hard for us to accept this when we are in disagreement with somebody.
The myriad ways in which we take meaning from what we encounter and how we process and remember that is down to a complicated combination of neurology and past experiences. If acceptance of other people’s reality was a starting point it would make life so much easier but we get stuck in the paradigm that one thing must be true and another thing false. We think that if we accept the other person’s reality we accept their experience as the ‘truth’.
Other people’s reality is simply their reality and we can be as accepting of it as we are of our own.
Be curious about their experience, their interpretation, how did they come to see it that way? Can you put yourself in their shoes and see why they might think what they think? Go on a journey of exploration together to explore your different experiences.
Trying to understand a different perspective and reflecting on your own leads to understanding and harmony. Standing stoically behind your own perspective with no openness to reflect or hear a different view leads to misunderstanding and conflict. If acceptance and openness is your starting point you have got a much greater chance of being able to appreciate each other.
Personal development through acceptance
Accept people as they are and find the points where you can connect rather than looking for where you disagree. Your acceptance can be transformational both for your experience and for the relationship. People respond more positively to acceptance than they do to resistance, judgements and dismissiveness.
- What are you trying to protect by being closed to an alternative view?
- What are you afraid of?
- Does resisting really serve your life positively?
Ask yourself these questions and begin to accept other people’s reality. Allow yourself to evolve, experience relational clarity, watch conflicts resolve and enjoy the benefits of a more harmonious life.