Curiosity As Kindess
I have been thinking about how to relate to ideas and people you do not agree with.
Finding their humanity may be one way to do so.
What is it about them, as a human, that you relate too.
To discover this, try being curious about why they hold the point of view they do.
Understanding Their Logic
Asking questions to help you understand their logic and how it resulted in the conclusion that they arrived at.
This does not mean that you have to agree with it, but it is enlightening.
There seems to be a fear that if you can see the other person’s point of view, it means that you agree with it.
Is that true?
Just because you can understand how someone came to a conclusion, it should not automatically mean that you agree with the conclusion.
Empathy can mean “sympathy with” or “identification with”.
But it can also mean “understanding of”, “sensitivity toward” and “sensibility to”.
Or, colloquially, it means “to walk a mile in someone’s shoes”.
A lot of debate today circles around the outcome, or proposed solution to a situation, or problem.
Nutrition science has many such cases.
Talk with anyone who believes and focuses on one diet, and they will point to science that backs up their point of view.
If you take a close look at the science, there can be reasons as to why it applies in certain cases.
But there are also cases it doesn’t apply directly to…
“What is the goal, or the outcome”, and “Who is trying to achieve the goal/outcome” are two very important questions to consider.
When Thomas and I explored eating Paleo after reading Rob Wolff’s book, we both experienced it differently from each other, or friends of ours.
Each Story Is True
Thomas did not care for it when we were following the diet in the Rob’s book.
For the amount of exercise he was doing it was not enough calories to recover well and maintain the needed energy for his activity level.
We read the diet chapter over again. It made us realize the diet was for people who were just getting back into fitness and looking to quick start to a new way of eating.
That was not the case for us.
For me, Paleo also fed into my need for control.
It wasn’t a good thing…
It took me down a rabbit hole that I would have been better off missing. But, instead, my project lasted a year and half.
A friend of ours felt so horrible she only lasted 3 weeks!
By then she had been physically impacted to the point where her chosen path was interfering with work and everyday family life.
She decided Paleo was not for her.
I spent most of my free time making sweets and treats, the Paleo way.
That this mindset wasn’t going to help me in the long run didn’t hit me until later.
On the other hand, some people live by it and feel great!
Who am I to say that they are not experiencing what they claim, because of my own outcome and conclusion?
I could tell them what they claim is not real…
This approach would probably result in alienating them.
Exploring why they have the experiences they report together will help me understand their point of view and what matters to them.
I will still be honest. I can let them know that even if I understand why it apparently works for them, this understanding doesn’t change anything about my own experience with the style of eating.
Hopefully this will help them see the humanity in me.
What issues do you discuss where finding humanity is more important than insisting on a conversion to your point-of-view?
Think of training conversations you may had too. Cheers!!
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