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Hearing the truth – especially when it’s negative – can hurt.
It’s so much easier to live in la-la land where everything is great. In reality, even when most things are great there are always some that aren’t.
When people share those not so great things with us, it’s easy to fault the messenger:
Well, that’s just your opinion/perception/etc.
I dare you to say that.
Or it might just hurt and we can’t believe they just said that.
Humans like to explain things:
Here’s why you think that.
Here’s why that is your opinion.
Here’s why that happened.
Explaining things away doesn’t make them go away. It just offers a false sense of justification.
But what if it’s the truth. Even if it’s just that person’s perception, perceptions are those specific people’s truths.
It’s easier to judge – in part because that person basically just judged us – but let’s put the immediate judging and defensiveness aside and listen. At least be aware and try. It can be hard to not instinctively move to defensiveness.
Listening can help us understand how other people are experiencing our own authentic stories. Sometimes our stories – or at least parts of them – are positive and some are negative. It’s life and it’s OK that not everything is positive. Seriously!
But, we can only make changes or even consider changes if we listen to other people’s versions of our stories.
It’s OK to listen to others and really try to hear them. Only then is it possible to consider and as necessary make changes.
Like many things, it’s easier said than done, but certainly doable.