MY WIFE, KLASSY, WAS UPSET about something.
As usual, I was trying to help her fix it, which just annoyed
her even more. You dont listen to me, she said,
You just dont understand how I feel. She had
said that to me many times before. I must not have been listening.
Of course, when Im troubled,
she listens and I feel better. All of a sudden it occurred to
me to find out how she did it. Maybe she had some strategy.
But when I asked her, all she could tell
me was, I just try to see things from your point of view.
Id heard that one before. I pressed her for more detail,
and after awhile, she was able to tell me what she did. She had
been using a technique without realizing it.
Her method is a lot easier than reading
How to Win Friends and Influence People by
Dale Carnegie, which Ive done eight times. Good book. But
Klassys one technique incorporated almost every principle
in Carnegies book in one simple mental maneuver.
Heres what she does: She imagines
walking around behind me and unzipping my back. She climbs inside
and looks out my eyes, sees what I see, hears what I hear and
hears it the way I hear it from my point
of view. She tries to imagine what it would feel like inside
me. Its a very effective technique for how to walk
a mile in someones moccasins.
All my life Ive heard the good advice:
Try to see things from the other persons point of
view, but I always thought of it as metaphorical. Apparently
its not a figure of speech. Its a direct and
perfectly clear instruction to literally imagine myself
looking out through anothers eyes. Their eyes are
the points from which they view not metaphorically, but
When I do this, it changes the way I feel
about the person Im listening to and they can tell.
I dont know how, but people can tell I really understand
them and that Im not merely going through the motions of
trying to appear as if I understand. And all Im
doing is seeing things from the other persons point of
Imagine yourself looking out
from inside anothers body.