I believe understanding people is one way to develop our self-esteem and create happiness in our life.
15 years ago, I began my career as a Human Resources officer. In this position, I was expected to prevent inter-personal conflict and improve employee satisfaction. Every day, there were many people who came to sit and talk to me about their problems. The most frequent complaint from bosses is “I don’t understand how she/he could have done the worst job and passed it to me.” At the same time, I often heard staff talking about their boss, “You know what! She is so mean. She wants everything finished in one second. I’m not a superman! I couldn’t understand how she got promotion! She doesn’t know anything about management”
I had to listen to all kinds of problems and conflicts for many years. One day, when I was in my 30s, I sat down and thought about why people have so many problems between each other. At that time, I thought about myself and asked a question to myself. “Did I have this problem? If yes, how did it happen?
I looked back on my childhood. I remember that when I was young, I had a group of girl friends and always had problems with another group. That time, I really didn’t know why I didn’t like that group, but now I know that it was because I understood only my friends in my group, and ignored the others’ feelings, did not try to understand them. That was the root cause of the conflict I had gotten.
When someone does things that we can’t understand, and if it causes us a problem, we easily get angry. Then, if it still happens more often, it may create a deep personal conflict in the end. We may not feel comfortable to stay in the group which the people we don’t like are in. I also used to leave a restaurant, just because a group of people who I hated was in there. The result was that I got very hungry and angry that day.
Now, I realize that understanding people is important for our life. We can more easily stay calm and appreciate ourselves. We can live in a wonderful world, the world of no problems. We can brighten our mind and get through the difficult situations when we understand people.
I remember that one day my colleague whom everyone accepted that she was a high performer made a mistake on her job. She blamed me and said that she had already told me verbally to correct the job before passing it to the customer. Although I had never gotten any information about that, I could stay calm and I apologized to the customer for the mistake. I could do that because I understood that she needed to protect her reputation. It’s fine to say sorry and keep everyone in good atmosphere.
We have no need to know exactly what is happening to other people, we just need to try to understand that they have their own reasons for doing something. I believe we can solve any conflicts by understanding or at least we can get peace in our mind and satisfy ourselves.
It is a simple process, starting with understanding that everyone has their own reasons! No matter what their reasons are.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.