We are in a world where it is easier to see others’ failures more than the reasons why they fail. It is easier to put our own rights before others and our own comfort before theirs. Most people have become so self-centered that they have turned so indifferent towards others.
If you know how painful it is to be misunderstood and judged during your downfall, then you would be more sensitive to how others feel. You would be more willing to be patient and kind towards them.
To be a more understanding person, you can practice these heartfelt ways when treating others, especially when they seem a little bit hard to understand:
1. Put yourself in others’ shoes.
Before you yell at someone or do anything rude because of impatience, think first how your action or words would affect you if you would be the receiver of those. Yes, you could have probably arrived or finished your task late—and you were disappointed with yourself because of it too—but would you really deserve to be treated that way?
Knowing you have disappointed someone is already discouraging enough, especially if you have done your best to avoid it from happening. How much more if you receive offensive words or actions for it? It could completely damage your morale and destroy your motivation to work harder next time.
If you want others to be understanding and gentle towards you during your frustrating moments, then please treat others the same way. Be careful not to say or do anything that could completely discourage them.
2. Understand that others may have a more limited understanding than you.
It cannot be denied that there are people who are not as open-minded as others. No matter how much you try to explain your side, they could not just accept it. If you keep on insisting on getting your message across, then you might just end up arguing or attacking the person.
If you think you are an open-minded individual, then be open to that fact that there are some who are not. Debating with them or telling them they are stupid would be stooping to their level. Therefore, just be patient with these people and understand that they are not capable of understanding.
ALSO READ: 14 Helpful Ways to be a More Patient Person
3. Practice being a good listener.
Sometimes, we easily judge others’ characters based on their actions or failures. However, we neglect the fact that something could have happened that pushed them to do what they did—and they probably did not really want to do it.
Before concluding that these people are hopelessly messed up, why not give time to listen to their story first? Hearing their side and knowing what they are really going through could help you become more understanding of them.
4. Take time to sincerely ask others how they are doing.
Another way to develop your understanding of people is by taking the time to know how they are actually doing. Instead of blurting out the automatic yet non-genuine “Hi! How are you?” greeting whenever you accidentally meet someone, why not be more intentional in catching up with them?
If you really want to ask someone how they are, then it is best if you could invite them to sit down over a meal or a cup of coffee. Show them that you are really interested in knowing their story by asking questions and not shifting the topic to your life story (it is their time to shine).
5. Be open-minded to individual differences.
One way to understand other people is by being respectful towards individual differences. Meaning, you should be aware that everyone has his/her own beliefs, principles, and preferences. For this reason, you cannot expect all people to agree with you or vice versa.
By being open-minded about human differences, you begin to understand where others are coming from whenever they express their thoughts or do certain actions. It will help you respect them and their choices.
6. Be aware that everyone is fighting a personal battle.
Do you know some people who are rude and unlovable? Is your patience tested whenever they are around so you prefer to stay away from them?
Sometimes, the most difficult people to deal with are those who are going through tough times. For this reason, instead of disliking them, why not exert more effort to show kindness towards them? If you get the chance, you can also listen to their story, encourage them, and help them if you can.
ALSO READ: How to be Kind and Warm to Others
7. Find a way to relate with a person.
One of the reasons why it is hard to understand other people is because we cannot relate to them. For instance, if you have never experienced depression, then you might think of depressed people to be just being overly dramatic or ‘emo’. You would be easily annoyed with them because you might think their pain is not real.
If you are having a hard time understanding other people, then why not find a way to understand their situation? In relation to the example above, you can research about depression to understand those struggling with this condition. Look for ways to see through them.
8. Do not play judge.
In connection with no. 3, it is important that you never judge others easily. Aside from listening to them, make sure you never treat them with any bias from the start. Never conclude about their situation based on what you hear from others.
To be able to do this, you need to control your thoughts about people. Always decide to give them the benefit of the doubt, especially if you do not know their side of the story yet. Lastly, always assure them that you are ready to listen to them whenever they need someone to talk to.
Understand as How You Want to be Understood
The Golden Rule, “Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.” can be applied here. The best way to learn how to understand people is by putting yourself in their place. If you want others to be nice and patient to you, then treat them the same way.
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