Point of View

My eye

What do you see? (Photo credit: neuroticcamel)

Point of view.

It’s frequently called out in writing circles. To keep an eye on one’s “point of view” (POV). Well, what about doing so in real life? What about…a twist?

I do this myself, and try to do it as often as possible. Though I’ve known of the practice for some time, it took my wife’s mention of it a couple of years ago to really get me to actively practice it. What I’m talking about is to put your perspective into somebody else’s POV. With everyone you meet, try to look at them as they might see you As they might hear your voice. Try to get inside their head and look out at you and the world through their eyes.

How might that change your perspective on them, on yourself—on life?

We get so wrapped up in our own thoughts and needs and wants, sometimes at the expense of others. We want what we want. We think we’re always right. Try to prove our arguments correct and more powerful over another’s. Get what we want.

Have you ever listened to your tone when responding to certain people? What do you think that tone sounds like coming at you, rather than from you?

What about your spouse? Your neighbor? Your co-worker? Your friends?

How do you think they view you? Your arguments? Might you come across somewhat brazen? Know-it-all? Preachy (where’s my podium!)?

How might they view your gait? Your appearance? How you present yourself to the world?

Do you consider other people’s thoughts? Let others have their way now and then—even if you’re positive yours is the “right” way, the only way, the most prudent way?

Do you ever let others be right now and then?

How will doing this color your world? Will it make you a better person? Just what do you think you’ll see when looking out at life through another’s eyes? Another’s thoughts?

I challenge everyone to put yourself in another’s shoes and walk a mile or two in their leathers. Look at life through another’s POV. See if it doesn’t make you a little less critical. Temper your fires some. Reign in you always having to be right and maybe giving others a little leeway now and then above your own, personal, concerns.

And, once you’ve done that—just for fun—try it with animals.

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About fpdorchak

Paranormal fiction author.
This entry was posted in To Be Human, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Point of View

  1. Uzoma says:

    This makes for an excellent read. It’s a post to treasure. Thanks for the exploration on people’s POVs.

  2. Karen Lin says:

    Walk in another’s moccasins, non-violent communication (start where they are coming from, see their fear, deal with their fear before the issue), etc. I’ll tell you, Frank. Some of us can’t stop being in the other pov. Right now, I’m wrangling with a legal problem and I can’t help but think from the attorney’s pov or the defendant’s pov… and every time, my empathy chews me up. I need my stable, unemotional, clear-thinking husband to remind me that it is my life, what I reasonably deserve, what I want. Hard to do when I tend to walk in another’s moccasins before I walk in my own tennis shoes. Being able to slip into another’s pov is an easy one for me…so for writing that is good. It has its downsides outside that arena unless you can slip in there, get a picture of what someone is seeing, slip out, then find a way to end up whole yourself.

    • fpdorchak says:

      Okay, didn’t see THAT coming.

      Well, like all good psychological models, I think it has to start with asking yourself WHY do you do that (insert all the multiple choice answers, here)? But I would think you’d already know that answer to why, you just have to admit it to yourself.

      To this situation, I think the more salient question would actually be what was honest-to-Diety BONA FIDE (in the strictest sense of the word)? Remember lawyers are smart people and they DO for their clients. They know how to make things appear one way when common sense might yeild a different picture. Nothing illegal, but there are so many ways to get what one wants by whittling here and there. So, I don’t know what that you’re dealing with is so much a “POV” issue, as it’s different versions of an “actuality hand waving.” For example, if a contract was involved, what do the words-on-paper say? Literal interpretations? What do the phrases mean? Then, if you smell a rat, I’d say a “rat” is a “rat,” no matter how described.

      WHAT WAS ORIGINALLY PROFFERED IN GOOD FAITH?

      If anything has deviated from that contract (using my above example)–even if they’re trying to make it sound all warm and fuzzy and for the good of the client, I’d say, they’re tap-dancing the hell out of you, because NO MATTER the reason, if they broke the contract, THEY BROKE THE CONTRACT. I hope you have a lawyer and they’re properly advising you what to do. Step back, take some deep breathes–go for a long walk, get some blood flowing vigoursly through that brain of yours to help you think a little more clearer. I know you, Karen, and I really think YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR SHOULD DO. There’s just a lot of smoke-and-mirrors being thrown at you.

      • Karen Lin says:

        Oh I know why I do that…coping strategy from growing up a child of an alcoholic and two parents who were children themselves. I parented them…and had to be empathetic and understand where they were going so I’d know how to prepare for things. I learned to prepare for the worst. I still have that habit. Imagine the worst case scenario so I can then be pleasantly surprised (a real superstition of mine). As to my legal situation. I’ll email you.

  3. fpdorchak says:

    Thanks for being so open with this, though didn’t mean for you to be! But I know, that’s how you are. :-] Hang in there, Karen! Will await your contact….

  4. Marc Schuster says:

    I used to do this with my dog all the time–always wondering to myself, “What must he be thinking?” Now I frequently watch myself from my students’ POV; I especially try to stay attuned to instances where I might be losing them due to lack of clarity or simply lack of engaging material. The big question I’m always asking myself is, “How can I make this material interesting for the twenty or so people who are stuck in this room with me for the next hour?”

    • fpdorchak says:

      Me, too. I’ve even gotten down on all fours checking out what the world looked like to them! Try that if you haven’t already! :-] But, that’s great, Marc, doing what you do! Bravo!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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