I Know Myself Best

I Know Myself Best
Image provided by
Jason Ippolito @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonippolito/

Unlike most people throughout the US, our family had Thanksgiving celebrations this last Saturday. My nephew is a truck driver and was out on the road on Thursday (the official Thanksgiving Day). Within my little household, Hubby had to be at work at the time the dinner would have started that day. All the way around it was just better to postpone it until the weekend.

We have our holiday celebrations at my brother-in-law’s house. It’s been this way for years and with me not being all that good of a cook, I’m glad that my sister-in-law is willing to slave in the kitchen for all of us. Of course, the rest of us bring at least one side dish to help out a little. The spread is usually huge.

This year there was a small tiff between my sister-in-law and me. Yes, I started it. I’m too protective of my husband, son and stepdaughter, and I let it get the best of me sometimes. Fortunately, we were able to patch things up between us quickly with hugs and me giving her a heart-filled apology.

Why was it that I couldn’t see things from her point of view from the very first? Quite simply, it’s because I know myself best and, therefore, find it easier and automatic to see all situations from my perspective. I’m not always happy with this. I’d rather be thinking more of how other people perceive incidences. I want to be ‘the good guy’ all the time.

Am I being ‘the bad guy’ looking at life through my own eyes? I have felt this way many a time, but as I put my mind to it and really give it deep thought, more often than not, I’ve not ‘the bad guy’. I’m not being selfish, self-centered, and self-absorbed. I just readily see the world through my own eyes.

I attentively put myself in the shoes of others so that I can see things from their perspective and, therefore, understand them more fully. Yet, this is a conscious effort I make. This doesn’t come natural to me. Furthermore, I don’t think this comes naturally to anyone. We learn this social skill so that we’re not left feeling all alone in the world. Without this skill, we are, most assuredly, an island, with no hope of finding others we are compatible with.

I’m able to make my point of view understood by using tact in my approach to people. This, too, is a learned skill; however, I find it easier to maintain than the skill of empathy. In fact, I must confess that there are times when empathy in specific situations is impossible for me. It is these times when I switch over to tact trying to explain my lack of understanding for that person. Does it work? Sometimes.

As I look back at the squabble my sister-in-law and I had, I feel relief and a little pride. After all, I was able to experience empathy for the situation she was in and see things from her perspective. This is sometimes difficult for me.


7 thoughts on “I Know Myself Best

  1. You’re right… we know ourselves and therefore, see best through our own eyes. It makes perfect sense. But I find that I’m someone who wants to please other people so much that I will forego what I’d like to say or do and then end up resenting them. Which isn’t healthy either. I think women are trained by society to “consider other people” and it’s something expected … of women…. but then that screws things up with relationships from time to time when the men aren’t taught to be considerate in return.


    1. Glynis Jolly

      I have to agree that many women are taught to ignore their own feels and opinions and, instead, give into the feels and opinions of others. I have been fortunate enough to have a mom who has always had to push and shove in life. Growing up during the depression in an all woman household (my grandfather died in 1930), in order to even survive, she had to rely on her own feelings and opinions. Doing this served her well and she taught me to do the same. However, I have tempered what I have learned from her because my situation is a little different than hers has been.

      I find that most men are very accommodating. In fact, there are some that bend over backwards a little too far sometimes. The men who aren’t considerate I find are few but get a lot of publicity.


  2. Very nice post! I am trying to rebuild myself after being walked upon most of my life. I go to great lengths to avoid conflict. That means compromising my own beliefs. I believe my tongue has callouses on if from being bit so often.


    1. Glynis Jolly

      Some beliefs need to be changed every once in a while. However, the ones that still hold completely true for you should be put aside. Yes, I know, conflict can be brutal. It’ll get easier as you gain confidence in yourself.


  3. clayton paul

    Glynis, it is very common to see life through our own individual perspectives. “Reality” is often the way we as individuals perceive it.

    However, the trick is to realize that we all see things differently. We need to work on ways to try and understand those differences and then work through them with people.

    This would seem harder to do with strangers because we don’t “know them.” Oddly, however, it appears to be a more difficult task with friends/family…because we “know them too well!”

    It sounds like you are growing in a positive way. You were able to note a “shortcoming” within yourself, (personal growth), act on ways to change it, (personal growth), and then correct the situation with your sister-in-law, (more personal growth!)

    If you decide to put your resolve and effort into more of this kind of growth, you can do so…it’s a matter of your personal choice to do so. There are many techniques available to help people with this goal.

    Good for you! It was a revelation with what happened on your Thanksgiving day. You deserve to feel good about yourself. Who knows what you may accomplish if you continue to try to improve the way you look at things through the eyes of others.



    1. Glynis Jolly

      My journey for this blog is to expand my scope of how I write. Seeing things just from my point of view is not going to help me at all in my writing. Taking a look at things from a different perspective seems to always help in opening up the mind to new experiences, doesn’t it.


      1. clayton paul

        Generally it does. A successful writer, in my opinion, has several goals he/she must accomplish, which goes beyond the punctuation and grammar. The first and most important step is to “connect” with the intended audience.

        In many cases, it does help to be able to see, and even present, a topic from various points of view. And that often requires being as objective as possible.

        To accomplish objectivity, the author has to be able to see things from other perspectives. Successful writing involves a trained skill set which most people aren’t aware of. It is rare that just anyone can sit down and write effectively to a diverse readership!

        Stay on your “journey,” Glynis. Take time to examine the ideas and beliefs of your intended audience. This is most certainly one key to being a better writer.

        Thanks for the comments, as always.



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