The world is a pretty big place, but it’s getting smaller by the decade. With a constantly growing population and a mingling of said population, there’s never been a more prominent mixing of cultural backgrounds, beliefs and ethnicities. And that’s a beautiful thing. One of my favourite things has always been getting to know and learning about different cultures from the people I’ve met and interacted with.
Interaction and understanding is not always an easy thing. After all, with a current world population of 7.9 billion people (roughly), there’s bound to be some difficulty when it comes to everyone getting along. And that makes a lot of sense, honestly. After all, there are so many barriers to effective communication and oftentimes very little appetite to acknowledge them, interaction and understanding can seem difficult.
It’s important to recognize that some people simply CHOOSE not to understand. After all, everyone has the same rights and responsibilities when it comes to good communication. One has the right to communicate. One also has the right to be acknowledged and heard. Being understood is an entirely different story. But one has the responsibility to make an effort. one can’t simply say, “Fuck ‘em, I don’t get it.” There has to be some effort on both sides to ensure proper communication and understanding.
An important thing to bear in mind is that you can only control what you say and mean; you can’t control what the other individual may understand or how they react to it. That’s where the saying comes from. You know the one, “I can only control my words, not how your react to them?” You can say something extrememly reasonable and in no way offensive but the person you’re speaking with may still take offence.
There’s not much you can do about that besides explaining that wasn’t your intention. Unless it’s a hill you wanna die on, you could even swallow your pride and apologize, whether you meant to offend or not. It takes more maturity to acknowledge that it isn’t the comment but whether the other person feels offended that makes the difference. Although it isn’t your job to fix their problems for them, recognizing that people who get hurt and take offence at everything are having a rough go of it.
The other aspect is that you’ll never be able to please or mesh well with everyone. Some consider themselves to be “people pleasers” but realistically, with almost 8 billion people on the planet, you’ll never please everyone and it isn’t your job to do so. Learning to be okay with the fact that some may not like what you say or do is an important step towards reducing suffering within your own life and moving forward with a smile on your face as opposed to a crease in your forehead.
All of these things being said, as long as you’re a good person and do good things, everything else will sort itself out. be honest but never hurtful. Be truthful but never intentionally insulting. So long as you do those things, how the other person perceives you or your communications becomes an aspect that THEY need to work on and it isn’t your job to fix any of it. Food for thought… ☯️