Unveiling Our Bias: Understanding Others Beyond Our Unseen Filters
“You are only ever feeling your own thinking. Your experience of the world is created from the inside out via thought.” – Sydney Banks
Shaped by Our Past
We all act like amateur detectives at times, trying to determine why someone behaves a certain way. We analyse, piecing together our narrative, not fully realising that our understanding is often skewed by the lens of our own experiences.
This flawed detective work can cause misunderstanding and lead to a negative bias towards that person. It’s a common but largely overlooked phenomenon, given that we unconsciously prefer theories that confirm our worldview.
Recognising Our Coloured Perception
As we navigate our social world, we don’t always have access to the backstories of others. This lack of complete information pushes us to use our imagination, often creating narratives that are heavily coloured by our personal experiences. But what happens when the prism through which we see the world is clouded by negative past encounters? We create bias — an unfair inclination or prejudice against someone.
The Nature of Bias: More Personal than Universal
This negative bias arises not from universal truths, but heavily from our personal histories. Unwinningly, we start creating theories that suit our narratives, often forgetting that everyone is an individual, with a unique viewpoint stemming from their life experiences.
The danger lies in us believing these narratives as irrefutable truth rather than recognising them as personalised assumptions.
Misinterpreted Patterns: The Cost of Bias
In our subconscious efforts to protect ourselves, we often look for patterns that might not be there. We are strongly influenced by our experiences and can misunderstand an individual’s actions, which can lead to us missing out on potentially fulfilling relationships.
We may imagine scenarios where people are against us, a concept rooted in psychology as ‘paranoid ideation’, often stemming from adverse childhood experiences or past trauma.
Bias in Daily Life: More Than Missed Friendships
Being overly defensive not only inhibits creating deep friendships but can also create a significant impact on our everyday lives. It might limit opportunities for professional growth as we become wary of constructive feedback, interpreting it as personal attacks.
It can also inhibit us from fully engaging in social activities, causing us to miss out on valuable community experiences and connections.
Breaking the Bias: Embracing Uniqueness
Remember, each individual carries a unique set of experiences that mould their actions, just like us. By understanding and acknowledging this, we can relearn how to interpret behaviours, breaking away from the clutches of our own biases.
Start by questioning your assumptions, stretching your empathy, and giving space for other viewpoints to coexist with yours.
A Journey Towards Balanced Understanding
It can be challenging to peel off the layers of our biases, which are often rooted in deep emotional experiences. But being aware of their existence and impact on our relationships and everyday experiences is the first step towards a more understanding world.
The journey might be long and requires continuous effort, but the result is a healthier, truer perspective of others—a perspective that cultivates understanding and fosters connection. Let us enhance our hearts’ spectrum to truly understand the beautiful diversity of human experience.
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Thanks for reading,
Namaste- I honour the place in you in which the entire universe resides. I honour the place in you, of love, of light, of truth, and peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.