Get to Know People

We make judgements about the people around us all the time. Most of the time with out even getting to know their situations, stories, struggles, and social circles. Your forced into these social interactions all day long if your out and about. Your brain is interpreting what you hear, see, and people’s intentions. Our brains by themselves are incredibly bad at judging others. But, somehow, we get into our own head convincing ourselves that we can judge someone without knowing someone.

In order for us to function as a thriving society we need to assume truth in others. It takes work to get to someone’s truth. We have to find it, work at it, and have a natural curiosity at finding that truth in others. Our lives are complex, they’re not sitcoms. But, we try to play others out like we’re living in one. Transparency into someone’s deepest feelings isn’t going to be delivered to you like a laugh track. It’s not predictable and can be ugly.

Lets start with our biases we use by just looking for queues on someone’s face. When we look at someone’s face we think we can deeply understand them. People can fake looks. “Fake it until you make it?” Yeah, you’ve heard that before.

To earn transparency you have to ask questions. A lot of them. And, you have to talk less. A lot less. Trust is earned as you draw the story out from the person you’re interacting with. As you repeat what you hear back from them and then ask clarifying questions as your only talking points, guards go down.

We are not very skilled at understanding strangers we come into the spaces we work or play. We assume. We believe we can just judge someone with very little input on our parts to get to a place of transparency. Most of the time this is creating a false narrative we just climb further into until it causes damage to the other person. It becomes our reality. A reality that can even be dangerous to us.

Our misplaced confidence gets us into trouble as a society all the time. Get to know someone. Really get to know someone. Invest in lots of questions, listen to learn, and tell the other person how cool their story is. When someone sits up straight, smiles, and their eyes kind of glitter after finishing asking some questions that means they love the topic or are excited. Lean into that. Find their truth and find their passion. Then help them unlock it.

This world will be a lot different when we can stop making false narratives about each other based off of what we just see. Off of newsbytes we just shallowly hear or understand. When we stop basing our ideals about someone’s character with out getting to know them.

Thanks for reading today!

✌ Shawn

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