“Arguing with a fool proves there are two.” – Doris M. Smith
We live in a world where our health, wealth, and happiness all depends on other people. The level of fulfillment and the things you want to achieve all boils down to the quality of relationships you have with others. Because whether you like it or not, whatever you want in life you need to get through other people.
How do you get things from other people? By the level of influence that you have over them. This is your silent power, which many people are completely unaware of and don’t realize that they can increase tremendously with a little understanding.
Why is it important to transform our relationships?
A breakdown in communication occurs when we fail to consider other people’s want’s and needs. Naturally we need to worry about fulfilling our own personal needs, but we can’t become completely selfish and narrow-minded. We need to learn to expand our awareness to be able to put our selves in another persons shoes and see if there is a way to have a mutually beneficial exchange.
Today I would like to use the role of a restaurant waiter to illustrate several key points that can transform how well you deal with others.
I want you to take a moment to think of a time where you had an amazing dinner and the role that the waiter played in your overall dining experience.
If you had a fantastic waiter, they may have been:
- A good listener
- Can anticipate a persons needs
- Is energetic and upbeat
- Doesn’t forget that it is his job to serve others
- Makes others feel important
- Doesn’t express negative emotions in response to rude customers
- Is mentally alert and conscious of himself and his environment
- Is a good observer
- Is able to adapt and interact with a wide variety of people
How Developing The Attitude of a Waiter Will Improve Your Life
Just like a waiter you need to be more objective with people. You can even learn to see people you intimately know with a certain emotional distance between them. As an experiment really try and see people you know as if they are like strangers. Like this is the first time you are meeting them, this attitude can help you “see” people as they are in the moment and not as you “think” they are from all the previous memories you have of the person. It can be quite a shocking feeling to realize it has actually been a long time since you really took a good look of this person. Their face may really appear different as you notice details you have overlooked since you always see them through the veil of an image (memory) you have stored in your brain.
Also, just like a good waiter who can keep his cool when dealing with a rude customer, you can learn to become inwardly flexible to not become identified with negative emotions aroused by many external circumstances. Whenever you become consumed and completely identified with your thought process, emotions, or moods you will be acting from a totally unconscious state. To be identified means you have lost your simple sense of being self-aware and have become that state. Someone or something pushed your buttons and you react in a totally unconscious manner because you have forgotten yourself and are acting through your habitual conditioned behaviors. Many people live their whole lives not realizing they can rise above this and act consciously from a higher state.
Our emotions being hundreds of times faster than our thoughts requires that we learn to cultivate a new attitude and understanding that can stay ahead of any emotional outburst. Firstly, we need to deeply realize how damaging it is to give into these states. It is a magical feeling when one day you realize in that very instant that you have responded consciously to a situation that in your past would have been an automatic negative reaction. This just means you have raised your level of Being. Real alchemy. You need to realize how much energy is wasted in expressing negative emotions. When you stop many of your habitual leaks, you will begin to accumulate the energy needed to remain alert and mentally balanced.
Next time if you can sense that you are becoming negative in response to something you dislike, try to step back (inwardly), take a moment to just observe your breathing going in and out. Just notice what’s is arising within you without judging or condemning, because if you do, this just means you are identified, you are caught in it and giving it life. Try to just be curious of the energy you feel. If you can remain as a silent witness, you will see that you can succeed in not letting the reaction consume you and stop the energy leak.
This is inner freedom. You can then gain insight into the problem. It’s as if you are on the roof top of a building looking down at the street below observing the crowds of people (thoughts) moving about. They can’t hurt you, but when you are identified, you are on the ground floor bumping and fighting them trying to find your way.
Just think of this whole world like a huge giant restaurant, and it is your job to be the best waiter around. You know that if you do a good job, you will get paid exponential returns. Any day you might come across a customer, who has the power to change your life and help you achieve the things you want. You will also be playing a game that is much more joyful and interesting.
You must continually seek to understand why and how people behave as they do, because as Goethe once said, “For whatever you cannot understand you cannot possess.” Through all your interactions you will gain the wisdom to skilfully deal with all the various personalities you will come across.
By becoming a more mindful, a more conscious individual, you will have the mental strength and flexibility to remain unidentified to anything inside and outside of yourself. If someone comes and insults you without any real reason, you can remain unidentified, thus not take it personally, and with this freedom be able to understand the other’s position. The anger has nothing to do with you, but clearly shows you the current state of that persons inner-world. Knowing the person is in reality coping with much psychological pain you may even feel a sense of compassion arise within you. If it is appropriate you may even be able to salvage a once hopeless situation. When I was young my mother would always tell me to “kill them with kindness”.
How To See The World Through Other Peoples Eyes
“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.” – Andrew Carnegie
Another great thing to do to increase your awareness is to continually practice seeing the world and yourself through the eyes of others.
Exercise: When you wake up in the morning, practice staring at yourself in the mirror and visualize that you are in the mirror looking at yourself from that perspective. This practice will help you with accepting yourself and others. You will also learn to see things from other people’s perspectives and points of view.
When looking at the mirror, really concentrate on feeling that you are in the mirror, until you feel a click or shift that you are looking back at yourself. When you are in a public place, practice on achieving that feeling and perspective by transferring your awareness to another person’s eyes. The more you practice this, the more you feel like you know what a person is thinking and feeling. If you try this please let me know your experience.
To increase your self-awareness requires you to constantly make conscious efforts. Self-awareness simply means that you have the power of attention to observe your body, thoughts, emotions, moods more objectively moment to moment. Being aware of being present to yourself in space/time. This is the power that results from a dedicated practice of meditation and knowing thyself. Check out these posts if you are interested in increasing your self-awareness:
- How To Increase Your Awareness and Expand Your Consciousness
- How To Really “Pay” Attention: Learning To Divide Your Attention
- How To Be Quiet and Stop Thinking
It is my hope that as we all learn to be more self-aware, human relations will naturally transform into more loving understanding relationships. All human problems arise because they were created from an unconscious state of being. Don’t wait, the time is NOW.
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