Are your social relations suffering from this thorn?
Have you distant from important people because of a misunderstanding? Or have you felt like an outsider in a work or leisure group?
Although it may seem common, it is not normal to see so many conflicts between couples, families, friends, businesses, cities, etc.
There is a worldwide barrier that may be affecting your relationships. Don't worry, if you choose you can remove this obstacle through a "simple" improvement.
Communication is key on Earth
Did you know that even plants communicate with each other?
Remember, we live in a social world and we need social interactions to grow.
That thorn I'm talking about is labeling, avoid classifying others and you'll have a better approach because you'll automatically make a change in what you transmit when you communicate. When you have an idea in your mind about someone, good or bad, you act based on what is aligned with that idea.
To help you distinguish it, I’ll exemplify it with 3 recent situations.
1. People with disabilities inclusion
I commonly perceive labels in the treatment and comments towards people with disabilities. Although I understand the social reasons behind it, it upsets me that even nowadays it is as a secluded group. Sometimes I hear it’s "nice", even charitable, to run workshops for them or that it is "interesting" to promote inclusion. However, remember it is not far from your reality.
First of all, none of us is exempt from acquiring a disability, be it due to natural causes, accidents or aging; remember that life expectancy is ever increasing. I invite you to see your grandparents, parents, young relatives or friends with disabilities in the same way as if they didn’t have. Just with this twist, you'll come up with more conversation topics, and you'll learn a lot if you're open to it.
A few weeks ago I participated in an inclusive orchestra: the musicians and participants who expressed the melody with sign language were people both with and without disabilities. It was a high-quality artistic show dedicated to an open audience: with and without disabilities. Do you think you would appreciate or participate in one?
[Photo: My participation as a sign language interpreter (I’m not one officially, still learning) with an association and a city orchestra]
Closely related to the previous point. What do you think about dementia, how do you interact with a person with dementia, or do you simply avoid them?
One surprising fact is that there is no such thing as senile dementia, so if you want to understand a person who was diagnosed with it, first of all, find out which specific type he/she has.
People with dementia can truly have a good life quality. You can learn to communicate effectively with them if you watch carefully and are empathetic. Remove the label "sick" and treat him/her as a person, as you would like to be treated; you will communicate more fluently.
I learned that when a person loses memory, it is usually the one dedicated to reason and facts. Meaning, he still remembers everything emotional. What emotion would you prefer having in your day-to-day?
3. Nobel Peace Prize 2019 Summit
Constantly talking about inclusion or respect implies that we are still far from achieving it.
At this year’s Nobel Peace Prize Summit about 30 Nobel Peace Prize laureates attended. Several of them stressed on being more inclusive and respectful of our differences. Rigoberta Menchú mentioned that part of the problem is that we catalog regions such as first, second or third world; who wants to live in a world that by definition is behind?
And speaking of obvious issues, have you created "minor" labels? From seeing people more by behaviors, such as they: buy X product, studied in X place, live in X colony/village/city/country, hang out with X person, etc. Do you treat someone differently, whether overvaluing or undervaluing due to a label rather than by the person itself?
When you want to improve your relationship with someone, be aware of valuing people without labeling. Be open, so the perception of what you communicate will be more authentic and warm.
By doing so, you will live more harmoniously with your family, friends, at work, and do your bit to create a better society for everyone. If you do, you may also be, without you realizing it, an example in combating racism and discrimination against your social groups, but also, ethnic communities or minority groups and you will promote tolerance towards groups with different interests or ideologies.
You may be wondering, is there a magic formula for simply communicating better with everyone? No, it definitely requires effort. There are hundreds of tips to improve your communication; erasing labels and prejudices is one that is very easy to fall into. If you are alert and eliminate it, it will help you integrate other concepts, express yourself better and strengthen your interpersonal relationships.
How do you get rid of this thorn? Depending on the type of label, first, understand it. Then give yourself time to deepen on it and put on 1 action at a time. You won’t find a single action that removes the barrier for life or teaches you everything, you require many actions for each specific subject.
Congratulations! If you've read this far, I know you'll succeed in making this improvement.
This list includes some actions to help you take your first step.
Grow and improve your business, life or work environment
Learn more about the world around you and learn about communication; click here when you want ideas to connect with Mother Earth or here when you want to open your mind and enter into communities (Maya in Yucatan)
Focus on improving other concepts of your communication; take every opportunity to do so. If you want a day or a retreat out of the ordinary to have fun and improve, we help you, click here and let’s talk
Go deeper and take your communication to another level through learning to sensitize regarding people with disabilities, we help you! Click here for more information
Analyze your communication and remember
Analyze yourself and choose 1 label that you have and want to remove. Find out about the topic that interests you or that you are facing
Get out of your comfort zone and get close to groups, people or associations with apparently different objectives from yours
Share this article on your networks with people close to you so that everyone is alert and helps each other improve