I Am Sorry

“I am sorry but…”

“I am sorry you feel like…”

“I am sorry it won’t happen again”

An apology needs to be so much more than one sentence.

An apology is only valid if the behavior changes after the apology.

And an apology definitely should not deflect blame back to you or change the argument. That isn’t an apology and that isn’t acknowledgment.

“I am sorry” needs to be so much more because an apology is nothing without context. In the apology should be them giving you the WHY it happened, HOW it could happen and WHAT will happen so that it DOESN’T happen again and THEN they need to remind YOU why THEY know you are valuable to THEM. If THEY cannot do THAT it isn’t good enough.

But first, let’s build a bit of justification and logical reasoning for why you deserve an apology.

If you are in the position of having to justify to someone why you deserve an apology, it should sound something direct like this: “I am at a place in life where I have taken ownership over my path, past and emotional intelligence. I am a high value person to be with/around and I deserve that same energy in return. That same energy will look like someone who changes behavior rather than gives a 5-7 word apology, I need more.”

To summarize: don’t apologize if you cannot change what you are sorry for.

A relationship with you should be your partners largest investment of time, money, and energy so an “I am sorry” conversation shouldn’t feel like work for you.

Second. let’s acknowledge that even having to ask more from the apology a person is trying to give you is a red flag that their awareness is not fully on you.

Before you accept less…

Think about all the work you have done to get where you are and all the work you have done with yourself so that you can bring your best self into a relationship.

With all this in mind, understand that when you become someone who operates at an awareness level that has you on a mission, empty apologies will mean nothing to you.

Sometimes apologies are valid, behavior changes and it won’t happen again. I am not saying that it isn’t possible. But what I am also saying is there are people who can see your value without having to disappoint until they “get it”.

#strikeamatch

Changing the way you think for other people.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming other people think like you.

They don’t.

You are going to internalize, understand, and take action much differently from someone else.

You ARE going to struggle to understand when someone does something you find illogical or wrong.

Here is the truth: we are really not wired to adapt quickly, but we are wired to adapt.

Here is how adaption works:

First, you have to be so interested in this other persons opinions and thoughts that you will be willing to adapt how you currently communicate.

We make a mistake sometimes when think we will ever adapt our thinking to better understand a person we don’t really care about.

If you do not really care about this other person completely, you will not adapt your process for processing and communicating for them.

Second, you have to be willing to turn off your old habits, maladaptive coping behaviors, and defensiveness when someone triggers you, in order to understand and acknowledge this other person’s request of you without taking it personally.

Third, and the most important. If this person is asking you to work on the way you think about something, you have to determine they are as high value of an individual as you are.

Standards matter, and you can’t compromise and change for people who are not at your awareness level or they will bring you down.

Don’t settle by spending your time on people that will not pour back into you in a positive way.

Pour into people who understand your value completely. They are the ones worth adapting for.

#strikeamatch

Newness, Hope, and Accountability

We like the feeling of newness because there is a feeling of hope that accompanies it.

Everything that might come feels like an opportunity.

There is a fresh air feeling to the beginning or a plan.

We hold onto the moments that feel hopeful and new to balance out the memories we have of times where things didn’t go the way we wanted.

I just think we should also stay hopeful when the road gets tough too.

Maybe if we can learn to do that we will resort to pointing the finger less.

Let’s not just be accountable for the celebratory moments but also for the ones that test our resolve.

In this new feeling moment let’s also promise to see our course through with courage and honor if the road gets tough.

Let’s work and carry ourselves on the back of our virtues so that we don’t need to look for new, rather, we need only to rely on our resilience and our determination.

Unacknowledged Pain

If someone expresses they are in pain, and you can’t rationalize or see where the pain is coming from, is it still considered real pain?

This question is in the same vein as asking if a tree falls with no one around. Did it make a sound?

This kind of questioning requires you to consider that neither of these scenarios are about you.

It requires a line of thinking that is focused on someone else as the experiencer.

Sometimes we are just witnesses and there isn’t going to be a relatable experience we can pull from to sympathize. 

Our brains are always occupied with memory and experience so the acknowledgement of another person’s pain, perceived or not, fails to be a priority to our me centered thought processes. 

When my Grandma was diagnosed with dementia the Doctor advised she may complain of perceived pain. The disease influences perception in some cases and he assured us nothing was wrong physically with her so we shouldn’t worry about her being in real pain. 

He clearly did not put value on perceived pain.

Her kind of pain did not count as real. 

He was not the experiencer and he had no way to verify the experience.

His words gave him away without his actually having to say: If you can’t feel or verify the pain yourself- it isn’t real.

He had no idea how to treat the kind of pain he couldn’t understand the source of.

So he dismissed it.

Empathy was not a part of what he offered.

We found a different doctor who understood that to alleviate any pain, first you have to acknowledge it and she has not indicated any pain since. 

Nothing was different about the new doctor except for his perspective and that is the only difference that was needed. 

America is acting like the first doctor in this scenario. 

Different people are experiencing different kinds of pain and discomfort and as Americans we are struggling with how to acknowledge everyone’s experience of pain and transition forward.

There are too many flavors of pain and fear in the mix to sort it all out in a non emotional way and so, everyone is crying out and no one is feeling acknowledged.

Unacknowledged pain results in some people reacting frantically and drastically.

Just because others of us have not felt the need to act out does not mean that others are not experiencing a kind of pain that influences their actions. 

All of the actions taken by protesters is a cry for acknowledgement of a particular plight that isn’t felt by the majority.

People who protest and people who riot both want other people to feel their pain by experiencing their actions. 

The actions may be different but the cause is coming from the same instinct of wanting to be acknowledged. 

The answer we need to come up with needs to be centered around fully recognizing and acknowledging the way other groups are feeling. 

First we will need to listen and regain the tone of the conversation.

We have to start with a mental mission of understanding the why behind the actions.

We have to speak in a way that disarms hot emotions and transitions us all back on a path that we all feel comfortable to walk on together towards a common goal.

You can’t do that in a society where no one is listening and acknowledging the other. 

It is time to stop talking to each other about our issues and acknowledge someone else’s concerns. 

Zig Ziglar said if you help enough other people get what they want you will by default get what you want because you have become part of their solution. 

Acknowledgement is always part of the solution.

The media love’s fear

The people are not desensitized.

The people are traumatized, terrorized and tortured daily by what they are fed by the media.

The people are a tinderbox of explosive and dangerous emotion because of the media.

We have been poisoned by the vitriol that the media in this county creates every time they fictionalize what the majority of people think and feel.

Shame on anyone who weaponizes the emotions of people who already feel helpless to know what is actually going on in the world.

When you victimize people who already feel like victims you do nothing to bring them back up.

Unity, strength, logic and faith is the only way up and out of bad situations.

The media contributes nothing positive in our society.

The media is decisive and it divides us.

It is more important now than it has ever been to use sound judgement when deciding what to believe.

Do not be bullied by the media into believing that you have no power to think for yourself.

Do not let the media make you fear your neighbors.

Do not let the media be the reason you become a judgmental person.

Expose yourself to positive perspectives.

Seek out the facts.

Data almost always tells a story that is far less terrifying than what the media would have you believe.

One less constraint

I have always thought that the best way to figure out how to deal with people is to first figure out what makes them the way they are in the first place.

If anything it helps you feel less offended when people say something hurtful.

Because the truth is we struggle with communication so often because of how the interaction makes us feel when it goes wrong and it’s the taking it personal where we lose control of the outcome in almost every interaction.

I have spent my life reverse engineering how people end up the way they do in order to better understand their perspectives.

Understanding other perspectives is a great key in persuasive communication. The act of understanding has done more to allow people to come around and change their mind than any other tactic for negotiation.

Understanding other people’s perspectives isn’t just something that makes you sound like a person who cares about other people. It gives you great power to be able to get what you want in this world without force.

All of what we need will always require us to interact with other people. So why not do get the things you need without having to fight for it.

Life is full of constraints that you can’t control and the last constraint you want to have to overcome is one you place on yourself.

When we are not able to have productive conversations with other people we are killing off opportunities success and happiness at our own hand.

The starting place for understanding other people is always going to be your willingness to listen to listen to their perspectives before you make assumptions about them.

Give people the opportunity to express themselves and you will find that when it is your turn to talk you will get a lot further.

Be less inclined to be defensive and you will automatically become more receptive because you will see that most people’s unwillingness to do things is not about you at all.

It’s about this:

People want to cooperate with people who acknowledge them.

It isn’t what you ask of people that they make a decision on. It’s the way you listen to them before you ask them to cooperate.

I’m starting with the (wo)man in the mirror.

On this planet there is no us species versus a them alien species.

There is no other entity with some whole other set of biological and and sociological needs we have to fight over resources that can’t be shared.

We all want the same basic things from life.

We don’t want to die from viruses.

We don’t want to infect our neighbors, friends and family with viruses that could kill them.

We want to be able to go to work safely.

We want our lives to matter to other people.

We want to be understood.

Here is the issue:

Even though we know all of those things we are still fighting about how to make all of those things happen.

Cooperation requires communication and the missing link seems to be the give and take of the understanding and wanting to be understood part.

There is too much wanting to be understood and not enough wanting to understand.

Not just from this side or that side not trying to understand but from all sides not trying to understand.

When you are the one talking you won’t learn anything new.

When you riot or get angry you for sure won’t be understood in a way that will influence people to care about you.

When we go out and violate rights to gain rights- it won’t work.

Maybe if we stoped violating each other’s rights as an attempt to force being understood we would all be able to peacefully understand.

Your perception (input and what you witness) of the world around you forms your perspective (outlook and what you assume to be true).

But other people are perceiving things that you are not because they are living a different life in different skin and have different home lives etcetera.

This means that their outlook and perspective will be different and it will also mean you may never understand through personal experience what they know to be true.

So once again we come to the conclusion that empathy is what it takes to gain understanding. And empathy will always be understanding from a distance because you can’t live another persons experiences as them. You can only experience your own existence.

Just understand there are different realities of what day to day life is like for other people and you will be seeing through more empathetic and understanding eyes.

Language has everyone confused. Especially lately.

Everyone is just in desperate need of empathy because everyone is saying they want the same thing it just getting camouflaged because everyone is speaking at once and no one is listening.

Empathy has no political party.

Empathy is not gender specific.

Empathy is not racist.

Empathy is human.

Empathy is even logical.

Empathy starts in the mirror and it can heal the world.

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares news about TED Talks and TED Conferences.

%d bloggers like this: