“I’m starting to realize that people lack good mirrors. It’s so hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show anyone how we feel.” ~John Green …
Perhaps it is as John says, that “we all lack good mirrors.” Generally, we are not the best at helping others understand themselves and their feelings. When they are angry or upset, we often return the anger. When they are lonely and afraid, we sometimes avoid them and their misery. Similarly, we are not that good at expressing our own feelings to others around us.
Communication is a skill that most of us do not take the time to develop and improve. When dealing with others, we tend to assume a lot–we perceive things from our own situations in life and deal with them from our own vantage point. Seldom will we take the time to see things from others’ perspectives and help them to understand what we see. And when dealing with ourselves, we tend to feel that because we know what we are saying, others will understand us as well. Yet often times, we are not even sure of what we really want to communicate with others.
Perhaps you have talked to someone before who did not know what he or she wanted. They were frustrated, unhappy, confused, lonesome, afraid, or feeling any number of human emotions, and they did not know how to articulate them to you. Thus, no matter how hard you tried to understand what they were really dealing with, you could not, for they themselves had not taken the necessary time to understand themselves.
We must task ourselves in life to find out who we are inside–what we want and how we feel. For it is through clear and precise reflection that we ultimately come to know ourselves. And it is through this self-awareness and self-knowledge that we are better able to avoid miscommunication. By being a better mirror for ourselves, we in turn are able to provide better insight for others as well.
Look at yourself in the mirror today and ask yourself what are your needs and wants.
Questions to consider:
In what ways are you aware of how you communicate with yourself? Are you aware of the content of that communication?
How important is it to be sure that you are communicating effectively with the other people in your life?
What can you do to improve communication with yourself? With others?
For further thought:
“I sometimes pray not for self-knowledge in general but for just so much self knowledge at the moment as I can bear and use at the moment; the little daily dose.” ~C.S. Lewis