“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges” – Joseph Newton
I thought that this was an interesting quote because when we meet someone we form an opinion based on how they look, what they might have said and done, etc… Then each time we see them again we look for confirmation of our original judgment; because we are subconsciously wanting to be right in that judgment, so we look to find the facts to make us right.
We are busy building a wall between them and ourselves. We are not looking to build a bridge where we are looking to give them the benefit of the doubt and see what wonderful gifts they are bringing to our relationship.
We do this with our team members at work; our relatives, and our close friends. We assign everyone a role, maybe your brother can’t hold down a job; your cousin drinks too much; George at work never completes a project on time. The wall that we build holds them in place so that these judgments become self fulfilling prophecies.
When we are around our cousin, we look for evidence of drinking and because we are holding to this judgment, the cousin buckles under the pressure and drinks too much. We don’t trust George to keep up with team assignments and instead of helping him, seeing what we could do to get the ball rolling, etc…, we are harsh and demanding and so George drags his feet because he doesn’t feel wanted, appreciated etc…, and he in turn makes the project late and we are vindicated that once again we are right.
What if we began looking at every relationship for the good qualities that they have and let me know how much we appreciate the talents that they have? What if we began praising instead of complaining. Asking them to show us how they get something done so perfectly? Building little bridges to them so that we can tear down both sets of walls? Think of the wonderful relationships that would blossom from this space!