A blog about some personal issues of mine with people – or people’s issues?

The story of this blog has begun a couple of weeks ago at a non-violent communication evening session with Yoram Mosenzon. Seems like some blog stories of mine begin there.
I was working together with a girl that evening, in a fictitious situation. It was something about who would prepare dinner, don’t exactly remember.
What came up in the end, even though it was a made-up story, was the topic ‘consideration’ for me. I was looking for a word for this need I felt and it took us long time together to find it.

I am not sure if this word has any meaning for you. It didn’t for me, untill that evening.
Consideration for me (couldn’t find a good definition on google) is the act of ‘thinking twice’. Before taking an action, shortly hesitating and thinking how it will affect me, others around me, the world.

It seems I value this second thought much more than many people do. I never knew this apparently. I think when I was younger it used to make my life quite difficult sometimes, always considering how an action that I take would be for others. If I use that or this word, how will this person be affected? If I act like this, how will it make others in the room feel? If I express myself, will others feel embarrassed?

It’s this second thought that usually prevents me from actively hurting people, ignoring people’s needs, messing up. I don’t like to ignore other people’s rights in traffic, ignore other people’s feelings in dialogue or interaction, don’t like to leave a mess where other people will have to spend time.

I think consideration has been quite a value in my family in many situations. Being aware of ourselves and others, being aware of how our actions affect others, has been lived a lot. Not always, but sometimes explicitely. Maybe this is where it comes from.

By time I have somewhat went across these barriers of needing to be considerate ALL the time. Of course I sometimes make fun of people, I leave a mess where I’ve been, I cross red lights. I take much space in groups usually, being aware that this might take others space. I don’t listen to everybody, don’t take every opinion in account, don’t care about every feeling of others. – And I am happy about it! It is quite challenging if your brain constantly works on figuring out what people around you might possibly find disturbing, and then prevent it. It’s a skill to be able to do it, and hell to have to do it all the time. I think many people do this actually, being afraid of being in the way, being disturbing, annoying, unimportant… many reasons.

What I noticed now for the first time was that I didn’t only value my own considerate behaviour, not only valued if people acted considerately in their environment and community – but very much in direct relation with myself.

I am quite good in finding excuses for other people. If somebody doesn’t live up to my expectations, well, I lower my expectations. If somebody behaves like a jerk, I’ll make up one or five explanations why it’s possible and reasonable for him/her to act like this in that situation – and that person is excused. Everybody lives in their crazy mind, everybody always does their very best to fulfill their personal needs, everybody only does whatever they believe is best in every situation, nobody wants to do bad.

Yes, yes, yes, all true. Nevertheless, I am very very very sensitive to what I perceive as ‘invasion of my space’. Most people in my surroundings know how sensitive I reacted to somebody trying to help me. To me, almost always, somebody trying to help me is a clear attack towards me. Somebody trying to tell me what to do? Run. please. Somebody only wanting my best, like my teachers back in highschool – just thinking about it makes me angry.
Interesting enough, I love help. I love support. I love people caring and offering advice. I need advice, I need support. I can’t and don’t want to do everything by my own, even though I often end up doing it.

So now I found a puzzle piece I was missing. Consideration.
If you have something to offer me, ask me if I want it. If you have an idea that you believe might be helpful for me, well, let me know and let me choose. If you live with me, make sure that I have as much space in this environment as you do. If you want my advice, my help, want to talk with me, why not quickly inquire whether I’m up to help you? Whether I have energy, time, willingness, availability to be there for you, to hear you speak?

This is a long blog entry. There hasn’t been one in a while, so let this one make up for it :) (- do you notice that my brain is trying to make sure you’ll be alright reading this?)

Rythm & Attention.
This is mostly directed at my fellow Knowmads I reckon. But might be others like the concept as well.
Rythm & Attention.
I am late for a workshop. Before coming into the workshop room, stop, how is the situation in there most likely? Is everybody focusedly listening? Uh, ok. I’ll put down my stuff before, breath a second, then carefully open the door and walk in silently. This way I will of course still break everybody’s focus for a second, there’s nothing to be done about it. But I have shown consideration. I have shown that I care about their well being, that I am aware of me being late.
I have a question during a workshop. I can burst it right out because it’s important and my opinion can and should be heard in this school. I can stop, think. The group present has a certain energy, is going in a certain direction. The person giving the workshop, talking, is wanting to go in a certain direction, wants to bring a certain message across. There is a limited amount of time. When going through these thoughts, my question is still really important, of course I’ll break everybody’s focus, take my space and time to bring the question up. But I might add a half sentence that I’m not sure if this is fitting, useful, that the question doesn’t necessarily need a long answer. By that I have not changed the fact that I broke the focus, but I have shown consideration.

By putting a second thought in before I post a question, perform an action, I add to the Rythm of the group. As in making music (not as if I knew much about it..), it’s important that everybody does contribute, brings in his voice, his sound, his special melody – but at the time and place when it most benefits the whole.
Pay attention, listen to the rythm, be attentive to your rythm as well – then considerately add your voice.

I am afraid that for the more timid voices this might sound as if they shouldn’t speak up. Some people might think that it’s not okay to break the focus – but that is absolutely not what I’m trying to say. Add your voice to the song, add your color to the painting – but make sure it’s a piece of art you’re contributing to.
It’s like a kid in the kindergarden kicking the sandcastles that the other kids built. You don’t do that.

Except if you have no other way, if you feel no other way to let your voice be heard. If the other kids in the kindergarden have excluded you from their game so much that you have no way of bringing yourself into it. Then jump and cry and scream. Of course.
With this, enough :) And I’m very curious about your opinion on it. Is this only me? Am I crazily obsessed with this?