Different human beings live in such different worlds. Our realities are a by-product of our beliefs, hopes, and dreams. When people believe something has helped them, they naturally want to share it. The challenge is that it may make little sense in our world. This is why people recommend things to us like strange diets, multilevel marketing, religious faiths, and unwanted relationship advice. They believe it will help us.
Your only hope of understanding their heart is hearing their intent. They really believe that their multi-level business will make you rich, that their faith will enrich your life, or that your family would be better off if you just ate dinner together. If so, their intent is to offer you a gift. It is their way of loving you.
The words may come across as condescending and judgmental, but their intent is to offer you the best thing they know.
Hearing intent is the only way you can understand what someone is really trying to say to you. Their words will often get lost in translation–not able to bridge the gap between your two worlds. But hearing intent never lies.
Hear their intent when you feel offended. If it was meant to uplift you- thank them (although you may choose not to take their advice). Remember the advice is just the words and content- not the message. Same goes for when they give you an off-handed compliment that does not feel quite right. If it was not intended to uplift you- do not thank them.
You have to hear intent with your heart. You have to feel their intention. Your brain isn't wired for that. It is not an intellectual process. To hear intent you have to allow their energy in and feel it. Then you know what they really meant to say.
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009, and my second book Natural Way of Being will published in 2019.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.