First thing first, see yourself, hear yourself, and know yourself.
Please listen to me. I want her to listen to me.
“I am speaking.”
Are you home? Oh, you’re on the phone again. Hmmm always on the phone…!
“Stop looking at your phone for god sake. This is our anniversary dinner.”
The list goes on and on.
Do you have experience with someone who constantly interrupts you? Or, at work or home, do you feel unwanted or unseen?
Saint Mother Teresa explains that the worst disease in the world is feeling unwanted and alone.
Sometimes, we feel unheard, dismissed, or abandoned one way or the other. You may never feel this way, and it is okay.
Unconsciously, we discard others too. Furthermore, studies show that people with less power because of race, color, gender, age, class, and education are less likely to be seen, heard, or understood.
However, people with power are more likely to be seen, heard, and understood. For example, a powerful politician writes an OP in NY Times, or a celebrity promotes a product on Instagram.
The truth is, all humans thrive when we see, hear, and understand one another.
First greatest human needs:
1. See them.
Know your name. Recognize them.
Everyone in our office building loves one security person, James. Why? James treats everyone like a queen or a king. Why is James more popular than people with earned titles and noble professions in the building? He sees himself and knows everyone’s names.
James sees other people in the elevator and hallway. My interaction with him tells me one important thing — he sees himself and uses his good spirit to connect with anyone who crosses his path.
Practice seeing yourself and others:
Privilege or not, sometimes, people see us the way we see ourselves.
Know thyself and question your assumptions about others who are different from you.
- Be self-aware.
- Notice his haircut or ugly tie.
- Seek her out in a crowd or office meeting, or ask about her family.
- Look for him when you get home.
- Be the first to introduce her to your friends and colleagues.
All human beings need love and recognition from ourselves and others.
Second greatest human need:
2. Hear them.
We need to be heard and understood, not necessarily agree with one another, though. How do you see, hear, and understand yourself?
I think what we see in ourselves influences what we do and our emotional reactions to others around us.
My professional experience shows that many people want more attention from their loved ones than fancy gifts. However, you cannot control if others see or hear you. But you can control how you see or hear yourself. I do not know what you see in the mirror. Work on those areas.
Practice hearing yourself and others:
What we see in ourselves sway everything we do and our emotional reactions to everything around us.
- Listen to yourself and others without interrupting.
- Check to see if you have heard yourself and others.
- Do you hear him out?
- Imagine a family member or a friend is a stranger you meet at the Museum or the library. How does it normally go?
Third Greatest Human Need:
3. Understand them
People need to be understood.
A former client, Henry, claimed he voted for Trump because he listened and understood his point of view. He added, “I have nothing in common with Trump, but he understands me. I have more in common with Hillary…”
People crave recognition from friends, family members, and others. You don’t need to agree with people to listen to their point of view.
As human nature dictates, we are different with our schedule or taste but similar in needs — being seen, heard, and understood.
Listen to them.
Why do people like talking to James?
- Pay attention, feel the story, and show true empathy.
- Take the time and listen in depth to someone.
- Listen to yourself, your friends, and family members.
The three greatest human needs can work for everyone.
- See her — Know your name. Call her by name. Seek her out in the crowd or an office meeting.
- Hear him — hear yourself out. Give him a chance to express his opinion even when his view is different from yours.
- Understand them — listen and choose not to dismiss people’s feelings or their unpopular lifestyles. It’s OK to disagree with others. I do.
Help yourself grow.
*This article was first published on kulifestyle.com.
**I have changed all names in this story.