#1: THINKING PEOPLE ARE LIKE ME:
I have a sensitive nature. My feelings are easily hurt and I therefore assume that other people’s feelings are easily hurt. This causes me to, as Richard always puts it, “walk on eggshells”. Richard teases me actually that I create my own eggshells, and that my worries of offending are unsubstantiated. This is a problem because I overthink things to the point of being unable to communicate because I have anxiety about saying the wrong thing. But that is not the reason I had in mind when I realized that thinking people are like me can be a mistake.
That reason is that I expect other people to be ultra-sensitive to my feelings, the way I try to be to theirs. I am shocked when someone does something that offends me. I insist to Richard that it MUST have occurred to them that their action would hurt me. He insists back, naturally, that “No Jo, it probably never occurred to them that this would hurt you.” Could he be right?
#2 THINKING PEOPLE AREN’T LIKE ME
I’ve already discussed on this blog the missed opportunities for friendship because I didn’t think I had anything in common with someone. I heard a quote once that said “We are more alike than we are different.” That way of thinking seems to fill my heart with love and unity. I imagine that if I could see into the hearts of others, I would see that they are much like me. We could commiserate and celebrate together.
So the mistake here is that by assuming people aren’t like me I not only miss out on friendships and understanding, but I am judgemental and critical. I see the mote in their eye, and miss the beam in mine.
I don’t believe that these two mistakes are really related. It seemed fitting to discuss them together because they have both been on my mind. But I don’t believe the solution to one really has anything to do with the other. What I am trying to say is that it isn’t really a dilemma after all.
the solution to #1 is forgiveness and #2 is humility and charity.
So simple right?