I Just Don't See It
Gail Pursell Elliott

  

Two associates were walking down a city street one afternoon when one of them remarked about the size of the “schnoz” on someone who passed by.   The other only observed that the person seemed in a hurry.  The person’s nose never registered at all.

There is so much sensory information out there that we have to pick and choose where to focus our attention.  If we didn’t, we’d be continually processing what we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell on a conscious level and would have no time to do anything else.  Sometimes we are so selective in our observations that we miss things that other people note and remark upon.  This is completely natural.

It can be really frustrating when what we see is different from what someone else notices and processes.  Especially if we then try to communicate based upon what we’ve processed and the other person has no points of reference.  Some people refuse to acknowledge our points of reference for reasons of their own.  At that point attempting real communication on the subject is a waste of time.  Sometimes we  ‘agree to disagree’  but some are not able or willing to do even that.

Our points of reference are based upon personal choice, our history, and sometimes our values.  For example, some may tend to notice if someone is ‘nosy’ long before they notice someone’s nose or other physical characteristic.

That doesn’t mean that one observation is better or worse than the other.  It is simply a matter of perspective.

It is virtually impossible for any of us to be completely objective, although we are continually thrust into situations in which this is asked of us.  The only way we can approach something even close to objectivity is to try to depersonalize our point of view and become simply the observer without putting a value on what we see.  Even then we have to determine what we are willing to process.

We have a tendency to hold on to our perceptions, whether positive or negative.  Some seem to hold onto them with a death grip, as if opening ourselves to consider a different perspective will endanger us in some way.  Actually, there is no danger in adjusting or refining our view.   Perspectives are not necessarily “right or wrong.”   They are simply an indication of what we were focusing on at the time. So if we ‘just don’t see it,’ it’s perfectly fine.  Perhaps it is something we feel is not important.   If we refuse to be open to someone else’s perception, however, we may miss the opportunity to see, hear, taste, touch, from a viewpoint quite different than our own.  The choice is ours. 

Some are more cognizant of perceived flaws in themselves but don’t notice them in others.
Some are more cognizant of perceived flaws in others but don’t notice them in themselves.
Some of us continually give certain people the benefit of the doubt and refuse to acknowledge anything that might contradict our good opinion.   
Some consistently look for the ‘angle’ in other’s behavior.
Some consistently look for the ‘angel’ in other’s behavior.

Marcel Proust wrote that “the real voyage of discovery consists of not seeking new landscapes, but having new eyes.”  We have the power to grow, to change, to refine our focus, and to determine what our perspective will be on a daily basis.  One thing is certain, whatever we’re looking for, whether positive or negative, we’ll surely find it.

Have a Great Day and be good to yourself.  You deserve it!


© Gail Pursell Elliott  Innovations --“Training With A Can-Do Attitude” TM  Box 552, Roland, IA www.innovations-training.com; Promoting Dignity and Respect:  No Exceptions.  In Companies and Communities Nationwide.

  
   


 
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