Since I was a teenager I have always been tremendously interested in observing human behaviour and listening to people’s life stories. This is one of the main reasons that led me to study counselling and to become a psychotherapist. I find it extremely fascinating how, as individuals, we can be so different and so similar at the same time.
On a daily basis we consciously and unconsciously make decisions in our life based on our feelings and thoughts. Our actions and behaviours are determined by our unique mental filters that are the result of nature and nurture.
So every day in the world there are over 7 billion varieties of human reality interacting with each other. I view this as the number of alive resources and opportunities we can learn from.
Truth is that whenever we ignore other people because of our pre-existing biases, as we determined that other individuals aren’t adding any value to what we already know, we are actually making a big mistake. This mindset blocks out every useful thing that other individuals may be able to pass along to us.
Every time we meet someone what we should ask ourselves is:
“What have you got to teach me?”
… and then just listen because people may be able to give you the answers you are looking for. When you talk you are repeating what you already know but when you listen you may learn something new. Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.
I consider myself extremely blessed of having the opportunity to listen to people’s life stories every day as part of my job. When people come and meet with me they think they are the only one learning and benefiting from our sessions but I am also learning from them. I learn from the way they handle their emotions, process their thoughts and the way they face their struggles.
I often see people along the corridors of the building where I work or along the street and I see them functioning normally in their everyday life: walking, talking and laughing like nothing is bothering them. By looking at them in their daily routine you would never guess the pain that sometimes is coursing through their heart and mind.
This is a reminder that sometimes the prettiest smiles hide the deepest wounds and we should always be very careful and gentle to each other because you never know what the people we may meet are going through.
My job has really taught me to respect all kind of individuals and never make assumptions because everyone is fighting their own battles.
There is always a lot more behind appearance and daily routine activities. There is so much to learn behind me, behind you, behind everyone.
Watch the video in the Brain Guru section on Observational learning.