Blog posts July 2019

Objectively Speaking

Hello All;
I know that I was supposed to have an live chat this month on this topic, and I do apologize that I was unable to do so. Life got a little hectic and out of control there for a bit. So, I am posting it here for you to read.
Now what exactly is ‘objectively speaking’ and ‘objectively listening’ some may wonder.
Well, being objective in thought first and foremost, secondly listening without feeling and thirdly, speaking with an open mind while considering the facts rather then one’s personal feelings. The adverb comes from its related adjective, objective, by way of the Medieval Latin objectum, "thing presented to the mind," combining ob-, "in the way of" with jacere, "to throw."
Now, if your like me, I do my utmost best to objectively listen and speak without emotions; which, depending on the topic, can get a little tricky for me. I have a way of investing myself in topics, causes, people and; and should the topic come across as nasty, I shut down and can get, shall we say...less objectively listening and spoken.
It’s a hard thing, being objective; because we are all emotionally invested in many ways and across various topics which can be tricky for us. It’s a completely normal reaction for us to go directly to our emotions. To give an example, if someone tells me something is happening to an animal, they show me and thus I will emotionally invest, thus I get a little touchy; and heaven forbid if I meet the person whom actually hurt this animal...yeah there is zero objectively speaking is ALL emotional! But how can we step back, relax and look at the situation and think, listen and speak objectively? Ohh that’s a tough one for sure!!
Well, can we remove our feelings completely for the topic / situation? Because in order to go forward we may need to; and we may need to become ‘stoic’ (a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining) in how we handle ourselves in order to go forth. Taking nothing to heart or mind, and listening objectively (which is being empathetic and objective to understand a person in what they mean and feel; feeling with them; seeing the world as they see it and to feel what they feel).
Now, yes I am looking at objective and not subjective here. The difference is an objective perspective is one that is not influenced by emotions, opinions, or personal feelings. It is a perspective based in fact, in things quantifiable and measurable. While a subjective perspective is one open to greater interpretation based on personal feeling, emotion, aesthetics, etc. (i.e. what I stated above in my example). Now mind you, as I stated before, we live much of the time by our emotions. Why? Because situations where people overreacted were because they projected their fears or past experiences onto the current situation. We do this more often then we know; it is our inherent subjectivity. We perceive through our senses a person, a situation or an event, and in an instant, we project our mental models -- our fears, background and experiences -- onto that perception. This often results in cognitive errors, which means we judge and respond incorrectly, thus we are subjectively thinking, listening and speaking! Such a cycle is hard to break when we don’t even realize it!
So, can we learn to be clear about and respond to objective reality? It boils down to the philosophy of IT IS, THEREFORE I SEE.
When we see things as they are, without projecting our fears, or when we strive to truly understand and consider another person's point of view, or even, when we identify and evaluate assumptions and conclusions other than our own, we are being objective.
It has to begin with us truly stepping away from ourselves and seeing and accepting things as they are without projecting fears, mentality, and past experiences upon the topic or situation. It happens when we respond thoughtfully and deliberately to the people, challenges and opportunities in our lives, taking that bit of a stoic approach.
So, how do we go from subjective to objective? Here are a few ideas:
Assess where you are in life right now. What are your triggers? What are the topics and situations that seem to set you in a subjective way? Identify them.
Do you feel your overreact to certain topics or situations?
Do you take things personally when they really were not meant that way?
Do you feel you judge people unfairly?
Has there been a topic / situation recently that triggered you? Can you step out of yourself for a few moments and see what objective reality of what happened really is?
Did you have preconceived presumptions or assumptions?
How did you respond?
What could you have done that may have been an objective response?
I found an amazing article that I want to share a few snippets here with you (full article here). ‘Strategic Objectivity can lead to better decisions’, that’s what caught my eye at first; and, as I read more, I realized it is about mindfulness within self.....a psychological approach to turn subjective into objective thinking, listening and speaking. It actually feel into line with what a great friend of mine said - We can never see a single tree because of the forest (very smart woman!). Think about that statement for a moment ..... our forests are our emotions and instincts; now mind you these are not inherently ‘bad’ things, it does make us who we are, but, as the author of the article stated - “those emotions aren’t always helpful for making sound decisions. You need a healthy level of detachment from your point-of-view in order to fully process any scenario”. Very true, at least for me. There has been many times that I was emotional and my instincts continued pushing me in the emotional realm and sadly, I missed the lessons, the information and quite literally the basis of caring for another individual.
Now mind you, we need not always be objective; there are many times that being subjective is fine, it’s just a matter of how far ‘subjectively’ your willing to allow yourself to go. Through that article I read, it showed a strategy to be more objective. The strategy is to give yourself the advice you’d give a friend if they were in your shoes. So, we change the way we think and talk to ourselves; for instance “I need” becomes “They need”. Why does this strategy work? I believe it lies in the psychology of releasing the pressure from our minds, placing ourselves outside the entire situation. and thus, we may think more clearly.
I am listing the steps below, but do suggest following the link above to read more. I reminds me very much of counseling and EFT.
The strategy has four main steps.
  1. Awareness: Realizing you’re in a situation where your judgement could be clouded by emotions, fears, and other personal biases.
  2. Perspective: “Zoom out” to get an objective understanding of your situation.
  3. Analysis: Consider the pros and cons of potential paths forward.
  4. Advice: Give advice to yourself.
So, in summary, Objectively Speaking takes time to cultivate, we need to take little steps that are mindful, in order to change out of our subjective minds - yet - we also need to pay respect to that subjectivity because it is who we are after all. The next time you are in a topic or situation that are your triggers or you feel are ‘hot topics’ for you, try to pause, think for a few moments, listen to the others with an open mind and then speak objectively. Who knows, it may change how you view yourself and others
Many Blessings and Much love!

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