What you see in others is the foundation of what you get from them.
I’m not suggesting we are able to will what happens, that our perspective becomes reality. However, our view of others matters. Have you ever noticed that someone else “proves” themselves over and over again, whether it’s positive or negative? You can’t understand how he or she can be so consistent. In some cases, it’s frustrating, because over and over, someone disappoints you. You feel attacked or taken for granted again and again. Perhaps it’s because of his or her consistency. But perhaps you are also noticing what you most expect to see.
When I was expecting our first child, my husband often commented on how many expecting moms he seemed to see all of the sudden. We notice what we expect, both good and bad. Seeing consistencies can help us make sense of things, but in some cases, it can overshadow evidence to the contrary. If we expect to only see confrontation, obstinacy, or passive-aggressiveness, we might overlook glimpses of attempts to respond differently. If we expect to see sacrifice, generosity, and patience, we might overlook irritability, avoidance, or manipulation.
People’s behaviors certainly impact the foundation of our relationship with them, but our perspective also contributes to that foundation. What assumptions are you making about people–both groups and individuals? How does that affect the way you filter the news, conversations, social media feeds, and your thoughts?
Your view of others matters.