We all know what a mantra is—it’s that thing you repeat over and over again; it’s that guiding principle you have; it is those words you live by. Well I have one of those too. For me it’s “Seek First to Understand” and I don’t know if i live by those words or they just happen to describe how my brain operates.

A helping hand

If you are like me, then you may also be living by these words. You may be the kind of person that just wants to figure something out—no frustration, no emotion, no resentment. You just want to fix it, or help someone, or make something better first. Then you can do some further assessment. After all, for some people this is their entire job—helping, or fixing.

The voices vs. you

Something I encounter time and again is that no matter how pure, unemotional and helpful I am in a situation, I still run into some people that are just expecting me to be adversarial. They are expecting the joke at their expense, or the resentment, the reprimand from authority, etc. And they are not going to get that from me. But they still react as if they have.

Let’s talk about what causes this, what to do if you also do this to the helpers in your life, and what to do if you are the helper.

PS –

  • Do you have a mantra? If so does it serve you?
  • Have you ever had someone have a conversation with you but instead they were talking to a voice in their head?
  • How often does emotion become part of any given discussion? Who introduces this emotion—you or them?