For years, I would get frustrated by the lack of performance from others. I think a lot of this came from how I was raised. My mom was as close to a perfectionist as you could get. She made sure that if I did something, it was done right. To her standards of course. I have to give her credit as her parenting drove me to have the work ethic that I have today. I outperformed most of my peers my entire life because I always did my best with almost everything I did.
However, being a high-performer came along with its challenges. I found it frustrating being around others who didn’t perform as well or didn’t try. It wasn’t an issue playing on sports teams but it was an issue in my relationships and at work. I always expected the best from people and I felt like I was being continuously disappointed. It got to a point where it was impacting my quality of life. I had to do something different or I’d drive myself crazy.
If you find yourself in a challenging relationship, are confused as to why others do what they do or are dealing with difficult people, keep reading. You’ll discover how to handle these situations significantly better.
Putting Myself in Their Shoes
To get a better understanding of others and to alleviate my own frustrations, I tried a different approach. I tried “putting myself in their shoes.” It was a great experiment but even more frustrating. The problem was that I was trying to think like someone else when that clearly wasn’t possible.
Regardless of how hard you try, you’re still thinking from your own perspective. It’s great to pretend like you’re trying to understand their world but the reality is you’re still using your own rationality to decipher theirs. It’s like using a Russian decoder to decode a Latin language. It won’t happen regardless of how hard you try.
Neuroscience demonstrates that although all humans have the same brain structure and the same chemicals running through it, we all think differently. No two people, even if their identical twins, will think the same. Trying to think like someone else is a waste of time because it’s impossible.
The Three Step Method
Instead of putting yourself in their shoes, use this three-step method. It will save you a lot of time, energy and headaches. This will enable you to deal with your frustrations, have stronger relationships and improve your ability to influence others.
1. List their key viewpoints – Don’t try to understand everything about them. Just try to figure out what the main differences are between them and you. When you try to understand everything, it becomes too confusing and you’ll never be able to do it anyways. Keep it simple. List the top 3-5 points.
2. Realize that you’re creating a blended experience – This is very critical to understand. You experience life completely different from the other person. There is no way you’ll be able to experience life the same way even if you’re in the exact same room doing the exact same thing. Their world is going to be different.
For example – your wife will not experience your marriage the exact same way as you will. She will not experience sex the exact same way as you will even though you’re having sex with each other. Even if you try to influence her or get her to understand you better, she will still have a completely different experience than you.
Here is the most important element. If you truly get this and apply it, your life will dramatically change:
When two or more people come together, you create a blended experience. It’s not the same experience each person, it’s just more similar.
What this means is that two people coming together creates a third experience, a blended experience. When you step out of your own experience and try to understand this blended experience, you’ll see things differently. It’s less about you and more about the experience. This is where the magic happens.
3. Accept or reject it – At the end of the day, you either have to accept the experience or reject. It doesn’t matter why someone does something or how much you understand it. It really comes down to whether you want to have that experience again or not. If you do, great. If you don’t, then you need to do something different to change the experience or remove yourself from it.
Life is a series of experiences and no two people will have the same one. Instead of looking at things as right or wrong, or what motivates people or doesn’t, focus on the experience. At the end of the day, you have a choice whether you want that experience or not.
All the best!
The Strategist For Businessmen