There are people in our lives who are less fortunate than ourselves and there are also people who have had different upbringings to us.
Different backgrounds can lead to misunderstandings if you expect someone else to behave like you. Unrealistic expectations is something I can be guilty of, as well as many others. It’s like measuring someone up against your own criteria, which is just not fair. Only you can meet your own standards!
This week, I wanted to open up my eyes to be accepting of everyone in my life, without any expectations. It’s a really interesting experience, as you deal with your own prejudices or stereotypes.
And it all stems from your perception of it. So lunch with my ‘posh’ friend just became lunch with one of my friends, the attention-seeking colleague just became a colleague amongst many and instead of thinking I was being judged in the gym, I just thought I’m going to the gym, just like everyone else in here.
As well as being a conscious process of rephrasing things, it was also a calming exercise, as you remove any worry of being judged yourself. Naturally, we are all faced with stereotypes in society, which are constantly fed to us through the media but ultimately it is up to us whether we decide to take notice.
I also found it useful to put myself in the other person’s shoes and it makes you realise that everyone has their own problems to deal with that we don’t always see on the surface.
A pretty-looking lake may have murky depths.