Perceptions vs reality

It has been a month of discovering that perception and reality are not always the same thing. Each of us come into conversations with our own understanding of this world, what we believe, find entertaining, what we value, and how we live. While on the surface things may seem to be the same, the truth is we each have very different views, and opinions.

Recently i observed this at work. A well intentioned conversation offering to help with a routine task was met with an almost angry outrage and the perception that they were inadequate to handle the task. Not the intention, not why the offer was made.

So that led me to research this out. How common is it that reality and perception vary so much, and generate responses that are not optimal? The academic journals say its normal. And in these last few years since the world seems to be a bit more tense this response is much more likely.

Who knew we have been living through a low grade trauma – the politics, riots, pandemic, inflation and what seems to be the world on fire news ? Yes events and factors have all degraded our emotions, and put us all on a bit of a hair trigger. Are you feeling it? a bit more stress? life seem to be more challenging? people around you seem more distracted, disengaged?

It is all a cause and reaction event….. the stress of the day may show up as anger when someone offers something helpful and kind, but what was really going on was the dog was sick, deadlines are crushing in, the car repair wiped out the savings, and who could have known how that stress was piled up.

So what are some tips to deal with low grade trauma?

  • Take a deep breath
  • Take action on what you can make a difference on.
  • Accept what cant be acted on
  • before you speak to someone else take a moment and consider if they might have stress in their life.
  • Discretion is the better part of valor- less said, more accepted. Accept the offer as a gracious effort to ease the burden you have. If you are the one offering, do so humbly, with no hidden agenda.
  • Before you speak always remember we each face life filled with stressors and things that will pull the joy from us. Choose joy, dont pass on the negativity.