How do you see the world?  Is your view similar to those around you, or is it very different?

My daughter has a friend who sees the world differently.  When they discuss colours, he gives them a different name to the one the majority of us would expect.  He literally sees the world differently from his friends.

Turquoise: green or blue?

It might sound obvious to say that we all see the world slightly differently.  Of course we do!  If we Seeing the world differentlydidn’t, we would all dress the same, and would choose similar jobs.  Life would be very boring if we all thought the same!  However, it can get us into difficulties in our relationships if we don’t think about why others may have reacted in a particular way.

I had a situation in which I struggled to communicate with another person.  I couldn’t understand for the life of me why she didn’t believe something I said.  It wasn’t even over something that important – she just didn’t believe that I meant what I had said.  She used this against me in a discussion, and I was left wondering what on earth was going on.

It was only when I talked it through with someone else a few months later that it began to make sense.  “Do you two see the world differently?” she asked.  This was a lightbulb moment for me.  I try to be honest in all of my dealings.  If I think something is good, I say so.  And I mean it.

I realised that this was not the case with the person I had the conflict with.  When she said something was “marvellous”, she actually meant it wasn’t very good.  And she did this a lot.  This is why she didn’t believe me when I said something was a good idea – if she had said that, she would have meant it was a bad idea.  And here lies the difficulty.

Who has the “right” view?

Politics is an area where people seem to have completely different visions.  I had a conversation yesterday where I didn’t recognise Politician X –this person was described in a way that seemed completely alien to me.  And when I mentioned Politician Y, her analysis was damning.  It was as if we Seeing the world differentlywere talking about four different people, not two.  I know we both found it hard to respect, or even understand, the other’s interpretation.

If we all saw the world in the same way, there would be no need for elections.  People would be happy with the way the government spends money, and life would be fair for everyone.  As we all have different priorities, we have to choose our allegiance with those who have a similar view.

After last year’s referendum, there was a lot of unrest about people not believing that others could hold an alternative outlook to their own.  People were upset that one side thought the other were blinkered and less intelligent than those who had voted their way.  It got quite nasty.

Accepting the differences

Rather than berating others for having another opinion, perhaps we could share our hopes and fears with them.  We can express concern about how a political party’s agenda may affect the lives of us and those around us.  Instead of criticising someone’s beliefs, they may be able to appreciate where we are coming from.

At the end of the day, we may have to accept that the other person just won’t understand.  Their view of life could be so different to ours that we can’t meet in the middle.  But at least we will have tried, and our relationships will hopefully be stronger as a result.

Do you know someone who sees the world completely differently to you?

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