One of the sources of profound difficulty in human relationships: trying to colonise other people’s worlds.

… by being blind to their difference from you:

Assuming they see (or ought to see) and understand in the same way you do.
Expecting them to respond as you do: be excited about the same things, irritated by the same things, upset by the same things, and committed to the same things.

.. or by attempting to knock them into (your) shape:

Consciously or unconsciously applying pressure to have them fit the shape of your own world. Using shame, promises, withdrawal, forcefulness, sulking, rejection, or reward to corral them.

This kind of colonising is an everyday oppression of others that we so easily get into, without even knowing it’s what we are doing.

Can you see it in your attempts to have the people you work with all be the same (same values, same behaviour, same personality, same opinions)?

Or in the way you parent your children to have them turn out like you?

Or in what you demand from friends or lovers?

Perhaps it’s time to give up colonising and start to be an explorer instead. What other people’s worlds have to teach you, if you’ll let go of your grip enough to allow it, might just change everything.

Photo Credit: Paulo Brandão via Compfight cc

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