Do you find yourself being too empathetic to the point that other people’s problems are bringing you down with them?
Maybe you find yourself too caught up in your own feelings to see someone else’s?
Or maybe you can only see things coldly - like a third party not really involved in anything.
If any of these statements apply to you, then you’re probably stuck in one of the 3 perceptual positions. Once you understand this mental tool, you’ll no longer be a victim of your brain’s faulty default setting, but instead you’ll be capable of easily shifting to whatever position the situation demands.
Every one of us switches between one of three different viewpoints in the world - some do it better than others. The self, the other, or the observer.
The self position is simple. It is fully associated, like you are looking out your own eyes and feeling the feelings inside of you.
The other is the opposite. You put yourself in someone else’s body and experience their feelings from their point of view. This is helpful to empathize and that’s why the old cliche of “walking in someone else’s shoes” became an old cliche to begin with.
The observer is like watching an interaction from above or off to the side. You’re seeing things from a distance. This gives you the ability to detach from the emotions the involved parties are feeling and see things from an outsider perspective.
Things get tricky when you realize our culture jams us into one position. Women, for example, are often pushed into the position of the other - taught from a young age that it is important to take care of other people’s feelings and to be considerate of what other people are thinking or feeling. Men are pushed away from the self by being told they aren’t allowed to cry or be emotional and driven to the observer perspective which often causes us trouble in relationships since we can’t step into our significant others’ feelings to get a handle on what is going on with the people we care about.
To start utilizing this concept - think of the last conflict you had with another person. That could be a spouse, a friend, a coworker, or a boss and replay the event in your head like a movie. Do it three times switching from the self, to the other, to the observer.
If you can utilize this regularly and in the moment, you will almost instantly become a more understanding person that can solve problems quickly. Your coworkers, significant others, family and friends will be amazed at how good you have become at resolving conflict.
Let me know how it works out for you. And if you’re ready to make some real improvements, MAKE YOUR MOVE and schedule your free strategy session by clicking here.
Your life coach.
The Andrew Warner Podcast: