This Is Why I Pause Before I Speak

A visualization that helped me grow thicker skin.

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It's in this brief moment of quiet that I like to imagine the following...

Additionally, all of my experiences are like filters that fall into place and further obscure my vision. Everything I view is seen through this very unique set of filters.

The same is true for everyone. Thus in any conversation, I'm dealing with someone who sees the world quite differently merely by virtue of the fact she's had different experiences.

Let's use my home state as an example. I know I can't think objectively about it. I tend to get defensive when people badmouth it. (For you, it may be your favorite musician or book or whatever.)

Not only that, but the conversation takes on a much different tone if we relay our respective experiences. I can probably relate to being bored on a highway, and she can relate to great childhood memories.

While not a perfect fix, I have found this little exercise has vastly improved many of the conversations I have! What strategies have you found helpful? Let me know in the comments below.