Since I can remember, I have had a strong need to be understood. To be seen. I tend to be extremely (most often to a fault) transparent for this very reason. One would rarely have to ask how I felt about something because even when my people-pleasing tendencies forced my tongue to freeze, my face would always boldly share whatever I was experiencing inside. To this day, my emotions are largely worn on my sleeve.
I think if we were to be honest, that is one of the qualities we love most about social media – we can more “safely” share from behind a computer screen than we ever could in person. And, we feel a little voyeuristic thrill from the sensation of being able to “see” what other people’s worlds look like. Unfortunately, so much of what we see isn’t the complete picture, and the snapshots shared can cloud our bearing on reality.
It’s a game of peekaboo.
There have been so many times I have posted something that I had been thinking about with regards to a friend, or a movie, a personal past experience or one I read about, only to have a barrage of commentary which clearly revealed the impressions my friends and family had taken from it. Without having the entire story at hand, and all pieces set before them, they each come to their own conclusion based on their preconceived ideas about me, what they actually know about me, and their own filters and personal experiences.
And, I do it, too.
In today’s fast-paced world, it is vital we choose to make the effort to ASK. Question. Seek the why. Dig a little deeper. Choose to offer concessions over walking in assumptions. In as many times as a headline has turned upon new evidence brought to light, so are the opportunities we have for fully grasping the heart and ideas of those in our lives once we begin to dig even the tiniest bit beyond the surface.
On the flip side, it’s just as important for us to remember to share our own who/what/where/when and why. So often we are so wrapped up in ourselves, we don’t create the time or opportunity (or set aside our egos long enough) to begin or be open to, authentic dialogue. A steady stream of this-is-how-I-feel-take-it-or-leave-it, may seem like strength to us, but in the end, its only true purpose is to “protect” ourselves and will always put an end to being truly seen for who and what we are. Doors are closed.
Peek a boo.
I recently discussed a prior conversation with an important person in my life. After some dialogue, she realized that what she had perceived from my non-verbal communication was not what I was actually experiencing in that moment. And I came to a new understanding as to what I too, had misunderstood. The result was coming to an understanding that would not have otherwise come to light without obtaining ALL the information.
Regardless of the nature of the relationship, situation, or our personal views/filters, it’s imperative to not only ourselves, but really to the furthering of community, that we choose to pursue, understand, and..
Peek a boo.