In reminiscing about a classmate who sadly passed away, a particular memory stands out for me. She taught me that we are different observers of our worlds.
Some time ago she stayed overnight at my home. Next day we went out and on our return she realised that she’d lost her phone, most likely leaving it at a café. Under such circumstances, I firstly like to be able to quell my anxiety by grounding myself and retracing my steps in my mind. Then I reach out to people or resources to find a solution.
So treating her as I would like to be treated I didn’t “fuss over her” and left her alone so she could contact her phone provider and sort out what to do next. She later told me that she had felt abandoned and had wanted me to hug and reassure her.
I regarded myself as caring and supportive, yet my actions had the opposite effect. This was such a powerful experience and reinforced that I need to check in with others, asking them what they need and not assuming that their response is the same as mine.
What experiences have you had that were interpreted differently by others?
To read more about what shapes us go to Who are you as an Observer?