Saturday, 20 May 2017

Gaining Perspective (Part 4) - Self and Others

Getting along is a balance between Self and Others

Finding and keeping good friends in school can be difficult sometimes and especially in the early years of high school. Your friendship group can make a big difference on your school performance. Your achievements whether it be academic or music or sporting can be boosted or held back by the friends you choose to surround yourself with.

Friendship is a two way street. It involves trust, consideration and respect. Getting along with those around you is an important social skill which you should be learning and developing every day.

 Awareness of your own behaviors and  the relationship with others is a massive area of study. Our discussion here will only center around your world. The world of the student. I used to spend at least a half day in this area when doing my Student Help courses. This short blog hardly does justice but it will point you in the right direction. A starting point for you.

How can you learn about yourself ?

To continue click on the "Read more" (below)
Learning about Self

Knowing others

The best way to try and learn a little about ourselves is to start by thinking about how well we know our friends and fellow students. Reflect on their actions and behaviors. Are they kind, polite, generous? Or do you see some bad character traits? I'm not asking you to be judgemental rather I ask you to be an impartial observer.

Take a moment to do this little exercise.

Can you think of someone who ..

> always criticizes others?
> cannot be trusted with a secret?
> who always gossips?
> demands center of attention?
> will only talk about themselves?
> is oversensitive and overreacts?
> is always pleasant and polite?
> always has a happy smile?
> would be there to help if needed?

This list could go and and on. You may think of a few to add yourself.

These behaviors are part of our makeup. We all have human tendencies to behave and react in certain ways. Over time as we mature we learn the social skills to behave appropriately towards others These are skills taught to us by our family, friends, teachers and work colleagues.

Student friendship groups should be chosen carefully

Too often a student will go along with the bad decisions and behaviors of others in the group simply because they do not want to risk losing their "friends". They do not want to cast out and perhaps bullied. I have seen many a student lose their way by falling in with the wrong circle of so called friends.

Looking at yourself from above. Do you like what you see?

There is much truth in the saying that "Others know us better than we know ourselves."

Your friends usually do know quite well how you will react or what choice you would always make or what your limits are in certain things. They often understand you better than you know yourself!

What might you learn about yourself if you could see yourself as another person? It could make you toes curl?

Students. We will try another little exercise here. In this exercise you will become one of the "others" and you will see yourself and your behaviors through "different" eyes from outside your body.

Let's start.

 Seeing yourself ..

> Close your eyes.
> Recall a recent occasion when you were mixing with some of your student friends.
> Now imagine you have left your body.
> See yourself? You are now floating in the air just above yourself and your group of friends.
> Look down and watch and listen to yourself as you interact with the others
> Do you like what you see of yourself?
> Do you see some of those negative things you said you see in others?
> Are you saying nice things?
> Do you see yourself helping?
> Do you notice how others respond to your words and behaviors?
> Can you see an action you did that you would not do again?
> Now float back into your body. Open your eyes.
> Exercise finished

Try repeating this exercise again from time to time. After a while you will begin to notice your words and actions on others in "real time". You may learn to stop and think before speaking or reacting. You may see opportunities where you may give support to others. Do this and you will develop good leadership skills that will stay with you for a lifetime.