Have you heard the saying, “Never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”?
That phrase hit home for me the other day when I got into a disagreement with someone very dear to me. Neither one of us took a step in the other’s shoes. Instead, we walked and stomped our own shoes!
On the one hand, I felt I should know and do better. On the other hand, this became an opportunity to know more and do better in the future. When there is a disagreement, the messages we teach, encourage, listen and love matter a great deal. The words we speak really do matter. We TELL to make the situation better, or worse.
When we experience a disagreement with someone, it is critical to take our own shoes off and walk in their shoes – at least a few steps. Walk with them and listen to their reasoning. Become curious about the steps they are taking. Why is that? What do you mean? Do you think…? How can I help?
Too often, we are quick to judge and react accordingly. We judge acceptable or unacceptable – and then we speak with the verdict in mind. We speak using only our own point of view.
How different would it be if we stopped and wondered where are they coming from? What is his or her story? What facts are being used to support the words being spoken and felt? I needed to walk a few steps in her shoes instead of solely walking and stomping my own shoes….
If only I would have thought about this when I was in that disagreement the other day. Maybe the exchange would not have focused on judging one another and defending ourselves. Maybe we would have been able to TELL each other better.
The way I see it now is I did not walk in her shoes, nor did she walk in mine. The heated exchange did not teach, encourage, listen, and love a positive message in the moment. I realize now I need to go back and do better. Relationships grow stronger when we TELL beneficial messages to one another over the long run.
The truth is, we never fully understand another person’s point of view; however, we can aim to understand better by walking in their shoes. Today, become more curious. Take your shoes off and walk some steps in someone’s shoes… #TELLforGood