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I Can’t Hear You

14 Aug

Have you ever known someone who constantly talks about how smart they are, but you’ve watched them make bad decisions over and over again?  Or someone who tells you how much they are going to do, but they don’t seem to accomplish anything? How about someone who talks about how kind and nice they are, but all you’ve seen is impatience and criticism from them? There is sometimes a disconnect between who we say we are, and what we do.  Sometimes they don’t match.  So which is it?  Are we the person we tell everyone we are, or are we the person whose life we’re actually leading? The truth is who we are isn’t what we say.  Who we are is what we do. We are living in the real world, and what we actually do tells the real story.

Sometimes people say they are one thing or another because it’s more flattering. Perhaps they want to be known as a generous person, so they tell people every time they do something that could be considered generous so they will be perceived as more giving than they really are. Perhaps they want to be considered patient and loving, so when others are listening, they adopt a patient and loving demeanor, even if it isn’t sincere. But people are smart. We’re very perceptive, and we can often spot a fake from twenty paces. The old saying that actions speak louder than words is true. It’s impossible to hear what someone is saying if their actions belie the claim.

When we first meet someone, we may be misled.  We hear what they tell us about themselves and at first, since we have no reason to doubt, we believe them. But sometimes as we get to know them, we realize they aren’t exactly the person they want us to think they are. If the disparity is egregious, we may determine they cannot be trusted. If it’s minor we may overlook it.  Either way, we need to pay attention. It’s important for us to know the truth about those around us so we know where we stand. It’s very painful to believe in someone, and then discover later that nothing we believed in was real. If we pay attention, we’ll figure out where the lines are, and what’s true. Gaining that knowledge will help us navigate the relationship more effectively as we move forward.

Today as you interact with those around you, pay attention. Listen to what is being said, and watch what is being done.  Learn about them, and understand who they really are. You’ll be more confident when you deal with them, and you’ll know how to handle your interactions with them more effectively.  Knowledge is power. Today, look around, pay attention, and gain the knowledge you need to go forward with confidence.

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