Curiosity is the ability to see life through the camera lens of another person’s “first person” view.
The choice to care about a person enough to set down your camera for a moment and see life as it is showing up for them.
1) When is the last time, in the midst of conflict or disagreement, you took a moment, paused, and were authentically curious about the experience the other person was having?
What would happen if you set your camera down?
What would happen if you responded saying “help me understand where you are coming from, I genuinely want to know…”
2) When was the last time you were curious about the thoughts in your own mind? Dan Tocchini writes, “are you curious from the inside out?”
I wonder what might happen if we were all truly curious.
I challenge you to take one hour today and just. be. curious.
What does it look like to be vulnerable in a relationship or situation?
I was on a coaching call the other day and I was wanting my client to be more vulnerable with me. And honestly, I wasn’t sure how to have that happen in the conversation.
But what the heck does that even mean?
The word vulnerable comes from the Latin vulnerablis meaning “to wound” or “wound.” The definition I found was “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.”
There are times in all of our lives that we have been wounded. We were susceptible to harm and we were hurt. And then, We can become calloused to a degree. And when, in our calloused state, we look back on the times we were wounded, we think “that seems so stupid. I can’t believe that hurt me.” Or “I can’t believe I let him/her hurt me.”
That often translates into our present thoughts. We think about a time when we know we need to be vulnerable and we are afraid. And we think “It is so stupid that I am afraid to be vulnerable right now…” In some ways, it seems so easy to just think about being vulnerable. I mean, really, just go do it. Be vulnerable and see what happens. Yet there is something about it that causes us to hold back. To not go there.
Often times because we don’t know the outcome and how others will respond.
And since, at one point, we were vulnerable and were hurt in a situation, we can assume that if we are vulnerable that we will get hurt again.
Now it makes sense why we don’t want to be vulnerable.
Only problem is – it only makes sense in a world in which I care more about protecting myself than I do about showing up in a way that makes a difference for others.
I have been thinking quite a bit lately about my expectations and, when they consume me, how much trouble they can get me into.
And this is because when I have expectations of a situation or relationship, I believe that my expectations will always be too small.
As in, my expectations cannot fathom the true potential of what could happen.
My expectations are finite. What is possible is infinite.
When my expectations run me, consume my mind, I believe this is called idolatry. Because idolatry is when I put my faith and hope in something finite, something that I can imagine in my mind. Something smaller than what is actually possible.
And I then give myself to the predictable, rather than the mysterious.
I, in my pride, think I truly know what is possible or best for a situation or relationship.
Rather than expecting that my expectations will be far surpassed.
And I show up, simply ready for whatever comes, and whatever I can offer to what comes.
And focus on that, rather than what I can predict.
I am no stranger to conflict.
I read something the other day that discussed conflict. It said that often times in conflict, we are so focused on ourselves and the point we are trying to make…
Rather than engaging what is true for the other person.
Now I wish I could say I always engage what is true for the other person all the time.
Yet I miss it at times.
My commitment is that, in the midst of conflict or any other conversation, I will engage what is true for the other person.
And when I miss it, when I get overly focused on what I think and the point I want to make, I will ask forgiveness and recommit to that person to engage and be curious about what is true for them.
As humans we are meaning making machines. Events occur all around us and our mind must make meaning of what all is going on.
Makes sense to me.
However, I’m not always excited about my judgements.
My judgements can cause me to be incredibly frustrated, think negative thoughts about others, believe that my world is the only one that matters (of course), etc.
So then what?
This then provides a great opportunity for me to judge my own judgments. Interpret my interpretations. Assess my assessments. Get curious about where my judgements are getting me. Either they are getting me towards my vision or further away from it. It is worth looking into.
Another way of seeing it is: Either I “have” my judgements or they “have” me.
If my judgements “have” me, in my experience this is a victim conversation where I am just the result of whatever judgements show up for me and I respond however they tell me to. And thus I am dependent on something external to determine my fate, if you will.
If I “have” my judgements, I then choose to get curious about the judgements. I inquire regarding my internal conversation. I assess where those judgements and interpretations of reality are getting me.
Closer to my vision or further away.
I have come to believe that one of the most accurate measures of a person’s character is how they respond when they are confronted, rebuked, challenged, contradicted, attacked, etc.
If the response is curiosity that pursues a clarity, it indicates one thing…
If the response is defensiveness, it indicates another…
Next time you are confronted, imagine if 1% of what the other person is saying has some truth in it about the impact you have on others.
Assuming you are curious about someone other than yourself.