Can we really put ourselves in others people’s shoes? The simple answer is no we can’t. To keep it simple then what are the implications of this as it relates to human relationships at home and in the workplace?
Implication 1 – We cannot really put ourselves in the others shoes, really
We are told to “put ourselves in the others shoes” so we can really feel their feelings. The issue is that their shoes are not ours. We are all unique and as much as we try, we really cannot feel what the other person feels because we are not the other person. We can try to force the other person to our perspective when we are frustrated and is that really fair. No, it is not.
Implication 2 – Ask open questions and listen without judging
This reality is so profoundly simple that it is easy to miss how powerful it really is. If we really want to help others understand themselves better (and us in the process) we need to hear and feel their stories and not judge. We cannot force people to look through our lenses as they are different and each person handles things in different ways. We can ask and listen for better understanding and to be happy.
Implication 3 – Their world is their world and we need more real compassion
To really get to a point where you are okay with others not being you is really difficult. “I would have done that” or "you should have done that” are often what comes out of our mouths. To have compassion is to really understand that we cannot feel what they feel and be okay with letting them feel this way.
Compassion is a great value to have at home and at work. Think about the great implications that living this value would have on the quality of our home and work relationships.