That actually most facts are only interpretations

In effect, whatever the fact in question is, every person who observes it interprets it their own way. This is moreover the principal cause of the disagreements between people, whether in the personal or professional domain.

clip_image002_228.jpgAnything that bothers you or stresses you or makes you feel bad is caused by what you have addedto the fact through your interpretation. Let's take the example of a company director who announces to his thirty employees that he has decided to close his company in two weeks. The decision is a fact. Do you think those thirty people will react in the same way? Assuredly not.

One employee might say, "Hurray, I was just wanting to start my own business and I didn't havethe guts to do it. Now I've received the message that it's time to realize my dream." Another might be devastated because he thinks that at the age of fifty, he'll never find himself another job. A third might experience great anger, hating his boss for waiting till the last minute to announce the news. He might feel that after giving twenty years of his life to the company, and as the employee with the most seniority, he should have been informed before the others.

Let's take another example, one of a personal nature. A man says to his wife that he has yet to taste a roast beef that can match the way his mother always prepared it, so outstanding was her special recipe. The woman immediately gets angry and lashes out, "So, that's it, then. Tell me I'm not a good cook. You don't have to beat around the bush like that. You might as well tell me while you're at it that you don't love me as much as your mother either..." The poor man never said to his wife that she wasn't a good cook or that he loved his mother more than her. This is the kind of interpretating that goes on all the time.

The unfortunate thing is that most people don't realize that what is bothering them is the result of their own interpretation. They cannot let go because they are convinced that what they are holding onto is the truth. In reality, it is not the truth they are unable to let go of, but their belief in their interpretation. In the above example, does the woman possess the truth? Clearly not, but as far as she is concerned, she sincerely believes it. I am even certain that if she were to repeat her husband's remarks to a friend, she would quote something quite different than his actual words.

So it is always wise to stop yourself as soon as you realize you are experiencing negative emotions like blame, guilt or fear. Then, take the time for some deep breaths and try to become centred again. Just knowing that these emotions are due to your interpretation will help you take a few moments to ask yourself what other interpretations could have been put on this fact. What might possibly have motivated the other person? By taking this approach, you will find yourself living in your heart rather than in your head where the ego is playing with you at your expense.

In the first situation above, when you put yourself in the shoes of the boss, it is easy to deduce that he had good reasons for not advising his staff earlier. Besides, he had every right to do as he wished with HIS company. In making his decision, it was not his intent to tell his employees they were no good or that he had not appreciated their dedicated service. He was just listening to his needs. We also know that this decision must have been very difficult for him. Since it is impossible to please everyone, he could never have figured out a solution that would have worked for all his employees. The only possible solution is the one that works for him and one that he can handle.

In the second example, I am sure that once her anger subsides, this woman will notice that her husband never said anything like what she thought she heard. Furthermore, he is entitled to prefer his mother's roast beef. Tastes are not up for discussion. When she tells her husband that the man next door is so meticulous and that his garage is always tidy (knowing that her husband is the opposite), is she telling him she doesn't love her husband or that she likes the neighbour better?

Let us therefore try to be more aware of the interpretations we give to everything that happens around us. That way we can avoid a lot of disagreements and negative emotions, and we will stop feeding our fears of not being loved or not being perfect.

With love,

Lise Bourbeau

Learn to be happy