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How often do we misunderstand situations because our perspective is different to that of the other person?

I was waiting in the entry of a carpark this afternoon as two cars were backing out, one after the other, and for me to proceed would have hindered their exit. As I waited a car pulled up behind me and within seconds was tooting their horn for me to move. I thought how impatient and inconsiderate this person was.

It was only after I had finished my shopping and was driving home that I realized she probably couldn’t see what I could see, she probably only saw me blocking her way, not the other cars which were trying to leave. If her perspective was the same as mine she might have been more patient as she would have had a greater understanding of what was happening.

We are all unique individuals and our understanding and interpretation of situations is dependent on so many varied things, from our experiences to our personality. It is common for our view of an event to be totally different to someone else’s, our perspectives are different.

Just like I judged this lady as impatient without realizing she didn’t have the information I had, so to we can misunderstand one another simply because one person’s perspective is different to ours. Good communication is so important in all relationships, that we can share our differing perspectives, which are both correct in their own right, and help one another gain greater understanding of the situation.

Next time you are tempted to judge someone’s actions, take a step back, and try seeing things through their eyes. Maybe their view is blocked and they need more information. If we can share what we can see in love and respect then we open up the path to greater understanding and if it’s a special relationship, greater intimacy.

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